1 Samuel 1:1-11
1 Samuel 1:1-11 is the start of the story of Hannah. If you have not read this before click on 1 Samuel 1:1-11 above to read before going on.
As I was reading the story of Hannah, I could not stop thinking about how Hannah was right where God needed her to be, even though it seemed different with the difficulty of not conceiving a child. Her husband was married to two women. During that time you were not highly looked upon if you were not producing children. Her husband’s other wife was not having a problem at all producing children. While the reading does not say exactly how many children she had, it did state on the day of sacrifice the husband gave portions to “all her sons and daughters”.
Possibly, you might think…well the husband just wasn’t into her like the other wife. You know what I am saying? But verse 5 and 6 we are told he loved her and showed favor to her by giving her a double portion of the sacrifice over the other wife. It shows us it was not a connection problem at all between the husband and wife, it was God himself closing her womb.
Can you image being with a man that loved you like no other, desiring children, and you sit with what you feel like is nothing? What kind of feelings would that produce in you? Jealously, mad, sad, and in some sense that something is wrong with you. Society has taught us to look a certain way. When the image we hold does not match to the image society has, feelings of not being enough bombard our mind.
What is amazing in this story is that in verse 6 it tells us her haters came after her bitterly. They did not just come at her saying, “ha ha you cannot have kids and I can”. These rivals went extreme with their attacks. It was not done in a calm manner, using kind words. It was forceful. Making sure their point was loud and clear. Using words that were considered harsh. Their motive to doing this was to irritate her. In that moment they wanted her to remember no matter how she displays serving the Lord, that same Lord closed her womb while they were living large in comparison to her.
Perhaps in your mind you are getting this idea that this was a one-time occurrence. This occurrence happened year after year. (verse 7)
Truth be told the occurrence got to Hannah. What human would it not? In the Bible there was this one time that it was noted how her husband noticed and asked her why are you letting this stuff get to you? Hannah never responded to her husband. In his moment of what I believe was frustration and hurt for his wife he asked her, “Aren’t I enough?”
In this one sentence of “Aren’t I enough?” I felt like Hannah in my problems and God saying to me, “Aren’t I enough, Wendy?”. “Wendy, don’t you have enough right where you are?” “Aren’t you thankful for what I have given you?”
Truthfully, I am. But there are times that a part of me is sad because what I have been desiring for years is not coming forth in my life.
There came a point in Hannah’s life the pain became too much. It was no longer just a desire, a thought, an ache, or want. A time had come where she became “greatly distressed”.
When I read what I am about to share at the end I found encouragement and hope in those moments when I get greatly distressed. The reason is because that is what brought Hannah on her knees with a heart that poured out to God. When she did it aligned her desire up with God’s desire so God was able to make reality a dream she had for years.
God wanted her first born son for something greater beyond Hannah. He had big plans already in place for a son she had not even conceived. But in order for His plans to come to fruition, He needed Hannah to consent to giving up her first born to the Lord first. When Hannah came to a place realizing it was no longer about her wants and desires but what God wanted, then God was able to proceed on with His plan and open Hannah’s womb.
I don’t know where you are in your walk with God or pain. Aside from where you are, I will share that when I read this text I was in pain like Hannah. I have people coming after me bitterly. I felt like my womb to dreams was closed. I ended up reading the passage several times. Each time tears were gushing out my eyes. I felt like Hannah. I found myself on my knees saying not my will but yours in what you have called me to do.
When I was done what I realized was that I carried guilt and shame for where I was. Replaying in my head if I had not agreed to this with that person, then I would not be here. If I did not do that or purchase that, then I would not be in this debt situation. If…that word that can be followed by all the reasons you would not be where you are. When we read Hannah what I realized was Hannah was right where God needed her to be. Had the years that led up to the prayer for a child never happened, then she would have never came to a place of being a part of God’s great story.
My friend I don’t know where you are. I don’t know what lies have been told to you about your situation. One thing is for sure God does not make mistakes and you are exactly where He wants you to be, to bring forth what He needs in your life.
As we continue our journey on to a New Year New You there is no better way to encourage yourself in your faith walk like encouraging other believers. Share with others what you are going through by answering one of the following questions.
- What is one way you feel like God does not hear your prayers?
- Does no response from God make you feel like you are not in the right place? Explain.
- What type of growth do you see in your life from God not answering your prayer in where you are right now?