I wrote the following post in November. I had never published it. Today as I was reading over it I felt very impressed to share it.
I can say, that the condition of my heart is very different today, than it was the day that I wrote this post..
I am so fortunate that I serve a God who restores our heart. A God of hope.
Here is the post that I wrote in November:
Today as I was reading in I Samuel chapter 1 these words “Why are you downhearted ?” caught my attention. This question was asked to Hannah by her husband Elkanah.
This past weekend I was feeling really “downhearted”.
On Saturday afternoon I went out to eat with some of my family members.
They were laughing and talking. As I surveyed the other people in the restaurant, they were also laughing, talking and seemed to be having a good ol time enjoying one another’s company.
I have to admit I wasn’t enjoying anything. I resented hearing all of the laughter and seeing everyone smiling.
Why were they afforded the privilege of being so happy? When I was feeling so “downhearted”?
Now, I have to admit the circumstances causing my feelings were nothing in comparison to what was causing Hannah to feel so downhearted.
In this particular passage Hannah is faced with the reality that she was unable to conceive a child. In Old Testament times if a woman could not conceive a child she was considered a failure. It was ancient Middle Eastern custom for the wife to give one of her maid servants to her husband to bear children for her if she could not conceive a child.
Hannah was married to Elkanah who was also married to Peninnah. Peninnah had children. Peninnah constantly provoked and taunted Hannah concerning the fact that she could not bare children. Thus, causing Hannah to have feelings of unworthiness.
According to customs Elkanah could have left his barren wife. But Elkanah loved Hannah and remained devoted to her even in the midst of social criticism. Elkanah tried to encourage Hannah but his kind words and actions were not enough to heal Hannah’s pain.
The symptoms for my feeling downhearted and Hannah’s were completely different. But the solution to overcome this present state of mind is the same.
Hannah had good reason to be bitter and sad.
She was constantly taunted and put down by Peninnah. Eli, the high priest did not understand her motives. Elkanah, her devoted, loving husband could not solve her problem for her.
Hannah had a choice to make.
She could strike back at the people in anger,using ugly words and continue to live with the fact that she would never have children. She could have turned away from everyone and everything and became a bitter lost soul.
But Hannah chose to turn to the Lord and pray.
In this passage in I Samuel 1:15-16, listen to Hannah’s response to Eli,who thinks she has been drinking.
” Not so my lord,” Hannah replied,” I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer, I have been pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Hannah was pouring out her soul to God. She was praying out of great anguish and pain.
I am sure that all of us have been in a similar situation like Hannah’s before. Where we have felt there wasn’t a solution to the problem. Maybe no one understands what you are going through. Maybe we have felt that there was no one who could fix things for us.
Today you may be going through a difficult circumstance in your life. You may feel that there is nowhere to turn.
Hannah’s story is a story of hope. This story allows us to see the faithfulness of God.
Where will you turn?
Will you choose to turn away from God?
Or will you choose to turn to God and pour out your heart to Him?
For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.