This woman was in great shame and torment fueled by her rival wife and the society’s attitude towards her. There was pressure from within and without that made it impossible for her to know peace until she could bare a son.
Ultimately, however, I believe the pressure was also from God. But this didn’t drive her to fight back at her ‘enemies’, seek revenge, compete, avoid them or seek selfish means of being even with them. This situation only provoked her faith which rose to another level.
She didn’t even seek for special prayers from the great prophet Samuel, no special anointing and sowing of seed, she just turned her bitterness to God in prayer.
She didn’t blame God or complain, she just pleaded with God in faith by herself. She pleaded her case directly and made a vow to God by herself.
‘And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept. And she vowed . . ., “Oh Lord of hosts, if you will … give to your handmaid a man child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life . . .”
It seems the Lord had long been waiting for this degree of commitment. Perhaps reaching this point sooner would have saved years off her wait. Nonetheless, to her vow of consecration she added faith.
Before any tangible sign of answered prayer ‘her countenance was no longer sad’. Years of anguish fostered prayer, devotion, and now, faith. A miracle was hurtling toward this planet.
Some prayers may be short and not so loud, but so intense, so deep, so full of faith that once you are through, you feel the breakthrough! That’s how God moves.
Isaac, Israel, Joseph, Samson, Samuel and John the Baptist were all born to women who had been barren. Barrenness forced these women to exceptional fervor in praying for conception. Little wonder that they conceived exceptional children.
Whatever situation you consider barren in your life, may it drive you to intensely and deeply seek God, invoking faith and immense hope in Him who is Almighty.
May your barrenness not drive you to bitterness, self-pity, hopelessness and doubt, but to seek God out of faith.
Indeed, after Hannah sought God with her tears in the temple, her countenance changed, she dropped self-pity, bitterness and sadness. She washed her face, ate and went away…but one year later she had not just a baby, but the whole of Israel had a prophet called Samuel!
Your barrenness might drive you to give birth to exceptional ministry, business, organization etc., something much bigger touching communities and generations beyond you. This can only happen if you respond well to your situation like Hannah.
For Hannah and people like her, their childlessness, joblessness, their lack, their failures and obvious struggles in ministry or challenges in life didn’t drive them into unnecessary bitterness, jealousy, rivalries, competition or fights with their seemingly successful neighbors, friends or relatives. Even when provoked by the same, they took all their bitterness to the Lord in prayer but acted right towards those provoking them…
Their struggles and failures only push them to pray, trust God more, wait on God and gain pressure and visions to think out of the box, always birthing new and exceptional things that not only bless them, but generations beyond them.
Great ideas, businesses, ministries, initiatives and exceptional accomplishments with extensive impact have been born out of right response to one’s barrenness, weakness or failures. The attitude that redirects one’s energies from jealousy, bitterness, fights, unnecessary competition, and unhelpful rivalries to new and deeper intimacy with God that sooner or later births new and bigger things.
The same way Israel’s blessings were locked up in Hannah’s barrenness, your family or community’s blessing could be locked up in your current struggles! Let those struggles push you to deeper intimacy with God, the right attitudes, superior perspectives and transformational ideas.
May Hannah’s faith and attitude be birthed in you today in Jesus name!
I would like to thank my sister DAWN for the The Most Important Guest Tag nomination. Please visit her at https://drawingclosertochrist.com/2020/09/21/the-most-important-guest-tag/