Today in my reading I was brought to the story of Hannah in Samuel. I remember reading her story when I was waiting on God to deliver on his specific promise of a child. It was actually around this exact time last year. Isn’t it funny how God does that? He will show you something over and over again and it can be completely new to your spirit.
I want to first let you read the scripture we will be looking at: I recommend reading 1 Samuel: 1 in totality so you can know all of the context but for the sake of my fellow sleep deprived moms or friends who struggle with ADHD (I am both!) I will try and summarize to the best of my ability-
In verse 5 of chapter one it tells us the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb. On top of that it tells us her rival was always holding it over her head that she couldn’t have children. How miserable! Hannah was provoked every single year at the same time by this brat of a woman. It tells us in verse 10 that she was bitter in her soul and she prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. She told God if He would please not forget her, but give her a male son, she would give him to the Lord for all of his days. It tells us later on that Hannah prayed silently with her lips moving and Eli accused her of being drunk. She said no I’m not drunk I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, I am pouring my heart out before the Lord. Eli answers her and basically says alright well go in peace and may God grant your petition. The story goes on to tell us that they worshipped the Lord, and in the process of time Hannah conceived and did in fact have a son. Samuel. Hannah was faithful to her vow to God and dedicated Samuel to him, and they worshipped the Lord again.
_First I want to point out that it was the Lord who closed her womb. I mean as a woman who knows what it feels like to be waiting to get pregnant that seems so cruel. For God to know how deeply Hannah was wanting to be a mom, and for Him to close her womb? How dare He! Why would He do that? How many times in life are you faced with a “not now” from God, or maybe even a “not ever” and think well THAT’S NOT FAIR. What’s even worse is Hannah’s rival was such a brat and she could have children but Hannah who was faithful could not. The good thing about receiving a not now or maybe even a never answer from God is that He is the one who knows what is best for our lives and He knows what He is doing. At this point in time the Lord had not told Hannah she would have a child yet she was faithful to Him regardless. She stayed faithful even as she was taunted. We are blessed to know how the story turned out but she had no clue if it would turn out the way she wanted or not. And yet she worshipped God. God used her closed womb to further His purposes in the earth and to give her life even more meaning than she could have ever imagined.
_I want to point out secondly that Hannah was deeply grieved. Sisters. Brothers. I URGE you to realize that sorrow is okay. Sadness is welcome at the throne of your Father. In waiting for God Hannah did worship but she also wept. She went as far as to say that she had a bitter soul. She was so burdened that as she prayed she appeared to be drunk! Sometimes pain is going to come and that’s normal. It is normal to weep over something maybe the Lord has said no to us about. It is perfectly okay to feel brokenness. What we must never do is fail to worship the Lord just for being the Lord. He is worthy of our worship no matter what promise He makes or whatever door He closes.
_The final thing we see here is that just as Hannah had been a faithful daughter all along she did not fail to remain faithful after Samuel was given to her. She followed through on her vow to the Lord and dedicated Samuel to him. We must never forget who it is we are given the opportunity to serve. We must follow through in obedience out of our love for the Father.
Let us persevere in honoring God no matter what He promises, no matter what He takes away or withholds. Let’s trust that He knows what He is doing and that it is good, even when it doesn’t look or feel like it. Let us be humble and submit to His will and let us be obedient in all things.