A WOMAN OF VALOR
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:17
For anyone who has faced the heartbreak of repeated disappointment, whether it’s an inability to have children, find employment, or to foster a lasting relationship — the story of Hannah provides great comfort.
Hannah, as you may remember, was barren, unable to conceive — a condition that was considered a curse in ancient Israel. Added to her shame was the fact that her husband took another wife, as was the custom, who made life miserable for Hannah by taunting and insulting her. Even when Hannah, in absolute desperation, prayed reverently to God for a son, the priest, Eli, mistakenly thought she was drunk!
Hannah had more than enough reasons to be discouraged and to give up. But that’s not what Hannah did. Instead, she brought her problems honestly before God and prayed that He would:
“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11
In return for His favour, Hannah vowed to dedicate her son in lifelong service to God.
After pouring out her heart to God and receiving encouragement from Eli that God would grant her request, Hannah was able to leave in peace, entrusting her problem with God and having faith that He would answer her prayer in His timing and according to His plan. And when God did answer her prayers with a son, Hannah joyfully and gratefully kept her promise, bringing Samuel to serve with the priest, Eli.
During those barren times in our lives, when nothing positive seems to be happening in our work, our relationship, or our service, we can feel that our prayers are unanswered and our faith ineffectual. But, as Hannah discovered, continued prayer opened the door for God to work.
And, as Hannah waited in faith and trusted God, she was rewarded. Hannah had supreme confidence in God’s sovereignty and thankfulness for everything He had done. Indeed, her beautiful response is recorded for us in the Book of 1 Samuel chapter 2 verses 1-10.
Let Hannah’s story encourage you in facing the disappointments and the trials of this life. Rejoice in what God has done for you already, be thankful for all He has given you, and have confidence that our sovereign God is in control.