Hannah’s story is found in the books of Samuel, her name means Grace. Grace is defined as the free and unmerited favor of God. Oh to be in the favor of God.
1 Samuel 1: 6-7 (NIV)- 6 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.
As I read this verse, I wondered why the Lord closed Hannah’s Womb in the first place…a small whisper from my heart responded…for his Glory….
Infertility was and continues to be a source of humiliation and shame for women. Even in the story of Hannah we find her rival, her husband’s 2nd wife, attacking her. With the clarity that comes from looking into the past, I am in awe of this 2nd wife and her ability to inflict such pain, when Hannah’s infertility was clearly part of God’s Plan. This is a lesson learned, even in the darkest of times, God is in control and is waiting for me to call out to him.
1 Samuel 1: 10-16 (NIV) -In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Hannah went to the temple weeping, she poured out her soul to the Lord.
She made a promise in her pain.
I am cautioned by this, I cannot just go through the motions of worshiping, I much be transparent and honest in my relationship with my Lord. I must be persistent and walk by faith.
I must Fall on your knees in front of him.
1 Samuel 1: 19-20 (NIV) - Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[a] saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Oh How I love this “The Lord Remembered Her”. My God is so faithful. He remembers and provides. Not only the life in her womb, but he also provided a wonderful husband for Hannah. Elkanah loved her. With Double Portions, he showed God’s Love in spite of her infertility. I am very much blessed with Ryan in the same way, thankful however that he doesn’t want a second wife!
1 Samuel 1: 26-28 (NIV) - and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
I am in Wonder of Hannah’s follow through on her promise. I cannot fathom what that moment felt like. to give your precious child back to God. But that’s when my humanness catches in my reflection. We are all God’s children, and in my wanting, I am reminded that I too would want to dedicate the life of my Child, to my Lord.
Hannah’s Song of Praise keeps hope in my heart, as I know that the God who blessed her barren womb with Samuel, has blessings planned for me.
Song of Praise 1 Samuel 2 1-10 New International Version (NIV)