From the moment Hannah became a young bride, she was eager to become a mother, perpetuating the family name. However, God had other plans. He was silent for 19 years…even though the couple fervently prayed for a son to carry on the family name.
Imagine the years of pain as tears fell down Hannah’s face. Her husband took on another wife to bear a son, while Hannah’s womb remained closed. While she remained faithful to her Jewish traditions, her inadequacy consumed her. But she never lost faith in a miracle-working God. She continued to pray for her own miracle, not knowing when it would come.
Even though her husband hand numerous other sons with another wife, he still loved Hannah deeply. And Hannah felt in her heart that he had resigned himself to the fact that they would never bear a son together. She stood completely alone in her faith before God.
Sorrow is a natural human emotion, a feeling of deep distress, sadness or grief caused by loss, disappointment or adversity. God was silent as Hannah suffered the deep sorrow of barrenness, as she listened to the hushed whispers of gossip and ridicule from the other women in her community.
Psalm 34:19 reminds us that, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
But our hope comes from the Lord. Hope helps each of us to believe in a positive outcome, regardless of our circumstances. Hope expects with confidence, and looks forward to great things with anticipation. Despite Hannah’s deep sorrow, she still held onto divine hope and belief that God would hear her cry and answer her prayer when the time was right. Yet, she surely struggled with doubt and despair.
Like each of us, Hannah had a choice to make. She could give up on her dream, or place her hope in the unshakable, unchanging grace of God. She could trust that He would fulfill her desire to have a son.
God’s love is perfect, and He is faithful to bring us out to rich fulfillment. And at a very advanced age (recorded as 90), Hannah gave birth to a son, Samuel. And Samuel remained a faithful servant of the Lord all the days of his life.
If you are going through a time of mourning or grieving right now in your own life, say this prayer and know that the Lord will hear you. He will answer you. Your day of rejoicing is on the way!
Lord, I ask that You give me the strength to cleanse my mind of any thoughts that cause my heart to grieve. As I wait on your answer, I am confident because my trust is in You. My heart takes courage in the fact that You have promised never to leave me nor forsake me. I will look to You as my source, even when I am suffering. Renew my mind. Encourage my heart. Give me hope for my future. In Jesus’ name I pray and ask. Amen!