A little book has impacted my life in a big way recently. I haphazardly picked it up on my “retreat” at the bed and breakfast several weeks ago. Hannah’s Prayer by Kenneth Gividend is by my side often these days.
I’ve been reading more about Hannah in 1 Samuel where her story is found. The first part of her story in about barrenness, heartache, and taunting by her rival, “the other woman,” of whom had several children when Hannah had none. I can’t imagine knowingly sharing your husband with another woman who opening taunts you. There are a few pop and country songs written about this scenario, and here it is in scripture. God knew her pain.
God knew her pain, yet he allowed it. She repeatedly petitioned Him, and eventually He poured out His blessing upon her. But what about those years she was suffering in grief over infertility and harassment from her enemy?
Suffering, grief, harassment, pain. Women are familiar with these snapshots. For each one of us it’s different. What amazes me in these few short verses is Hannah’s resolve to continue going to her Lord requesting, petitioning His full blessing.
Year after year. She could have chosen bitterness, hatred, hardness of heart. I am sure she was tempted in these ways or perhaps worked through them at different times. But her character shows she continued to go back to her Lord.
A good reminder today. Whatever our suffering, continue to petition the Lord. It’s not selfish. Our Father loves us immensely. When harassment, suffering and bitterness is at our door, lean into the Lord, as my mother-in-law says.
“But in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7