One morning our three year old son was singing, “My God will do anything for you and me and everybody.” This made me think of Hannah and what God did for her.
Imagine wanting to be mother so badly that you can almost taste it? You are faced with the grim reality that you may never be able to have children. You are married to a man who has another wife. This other wife rubs that fact that she has children and you don’t in your face every single day. It doesn’t help to know that your husband loves you dearly. The pain of not being able to conceive is all that you feel and it gets so unbearable that you have to do something. Such was the situation for Hannah.
She was miserable. Her rival provoked her to the point where she broke down and cried and couldn’t eat. This went on year after year. Then, one day, Hannah went to the temple where she prayed to God, weeping bitterly. She was in such anguish. She prayed for a son and promised God that she would dedicate the boy to serve him all the days of his life in return.
Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord, knowing that He would hear her. I wonder as she was praying if she thought of Sarah who had been barren but was blessed with Isaac when she was way past the childbearing years or Rebekah who was barren until Isaac prayed for her and God blessed her with twins.
What inspired me about Hannah is that she didn’t give up. She didn’t see her situation as hopeless. She went to God in faith and with hope burning in her heart and petitioned Him. She trusted in the fact that with God all things were possible. She approached Him, confident that if what she asked for was according to his will, he would hear her. God was her only hope. He who had the power to close her womb could open it.
When Hannah finished praying, she told Eli, the priest that she was pouring her soul out to the Lord and had been praying out of pent up anguish. Eli wished her the best and she left there a new person. She felt lighthearted, as if a great burden had been lifted and she found her appetite.
God answered this woman’s prayer and blessed her with a son whom she named Samuel “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.” Hannah kept her promise to God. After she weaned Samuel, she took him to the temple where she left him in the care of Eli, the priest. She said to him, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the LORD there” (1 Samuel 1, NKJV).
Hannah praised God for what He had done for her. She declared, “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me” (1 Samuel 2:1, NLT).
Hannah didn’t pray for other children. She had simply asked for a son and in return she was willing to dedicate him to the Lord. Well, Eli blessed her and her husband with these words, “The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD.” And sure enough, the Lord did. He blessed them with three sons and two daughters. So, Hannah went from being a barren woman to a mother of six.
Hannah’s prayer was answered because it was God’s will to bless her with the son she asked for. Samuel became a great prophet for the Lord. Thank you, Hannah for reminding us that there is always hope and that we must never give up.
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.