“Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.””
1 Samuel 2:1
There is perhaps no greater image of brokenness…particularly in ancient cultures…than that of the “barren” woman.
The pressure to produce an heir in Israel was so tremendous that “barrenness” seemed to describe not only the physical but also the spiritual and social condition of the afflicted.
After years of this, Hannah recognized that her grief had become sin. And her mourning had become an “affliction” (1 Samuel 1:11). So at Shiloh she decided to sacrifice what was enslaving her.
She vowed that if she were ever to have a child, she would dedicate him to the Lord. In other words, she decided that having a child was no longer proof of her worth to those who had been judging her. If it came, great…if not…great!
The moment she freed herself from this burden, God gave her a son; Samuel; who she in turn sent to Eli the priest as an apprentice.
When we see Hannah “rejoice in the Lord” and “find strength” in Him, it is because she has been blessed by the one thing permanent, relevant, and true in the world…God!
Hannah understood that behind every condition, physical or spiritual is the Lord’s creative power is at work, and not hers…and certainly not other people’s. This knowledge is what liberated her and caused her to rejoice.
The thing is…regardless of what condition afflicts us today, we must believe that God will make it all beautiful…and fill our heart with joy and our mouth with praise…in His time!
Heavenly Father, though we may not all desire the same things that Hannah desired, we too suffer from trying to fit into society and make temporary and fleeting things in life permanent. Help us to recognize and repent of our sin and put our strength in our Rock, & Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen!