I love the story of Hannah because she showed strength and courage. This story is more than a story about a barren woman who wanted children. Yes, she did want children, but her hurt was deeper than that. Every year she made her way to the house of God to give her offering in spite of the constant emotional turmoil she was in because her desire was towards God.
She endured the teasing of Elkanah’s, her husband, other wife, Penninah. Penninah was relentless in her taunting. Imagine being hurt by someone you love and then someone else comes along and makes horrible statements to you about the situation. It’s going to hurt worst. Penninah hit below the belt, always digging deeper into the wound of being barren. That is what Hannah was going through constantly.
She endured her husband not understanding her pain. He thought he should be enough for her. He didn’t understand why she was so upset at being barren. Then again he was a man. A man’s desire is towards the woman he loves. While he loves his children he loves his woman more. A woman’s desire is towards her children. She would lay her life down for them. After all, she did risk her life to bring them into the world. So naturally, Elkanah didn’t understand.
It’s Time for a Change
When she couldn’t take it any longer, Hannah went to pray to her God. She did not give God ultimatums or a request for three wishes; she came with an outpouring heart. She was honest with Yah about how she felt. She was honest about what she desired. Even though she was very hurt in her heart, she did not pray a selfish prayer. She did not ask God to kill Penninah’s children or make her husband understand her or give her ten children to outdo Penninah. She did not even ask God for a son to cherish for the rest of his life.
She told God that if He gave her a son she would give him back to God for His service. She would not even keep the very thing she longed for. When you get to the heart of the matter this thing was deeper than her having children. She only wanted one child to wipe away her curse, to let her know that God loves her too.
Being barren is a curse.
In that time to be barren was a curse. She wanted to know that she was not born to be a curse, which meant God did not approve of her. Being cursed meant she was like the heathen women in God’s sight. The only problem is that even those women where bearing children so how far down on the totem pole did that put Hannah. She was viewed as lower than the heathens. She was lower than God’s enemies. Hannah wanted God’s approval of her more than anything else. She wanted Yah to let her know He loved her.
The Unquenchable Pain Being Quenched
Her pain was so deep she couldn’t even speak. You might have been there before. I know I have been. It’s the kind of pain where you’re afraid to open your mouth for fear of what will come out. It’s the kind of pain that eventually has no words to speak. It’s the deep hurt that you don’t want anyone to over hear you talk about. It’s the gut-wrenching scream on the inside that you pray will not pass through your lips. This was Hannah’s pain.
She might have looked a little weird or a little drunk as the priest thought. In which case, he accused her of being drunk without even asking her what was wrong. He didn’t have discernment to know what she was going through. He was too much into image. He was too focused on the outer appearance. Yet, he was the priest set over the things of God. But praise Yah, who is into the heart of the matter. He sees what no one else wants to see. He hears when no one else wants to hear. He delivers when no one else wants to help.
Every person craves God and His approval because we were all created in His image. Some do not realize it and try to fill that void with drugs, alcohol, food, sex and a lot of other things. Hannah knew what she wanted and that is why she was able to give her only child back to God. She wanted God more than she wanted children. She wanted God more than she wanted her husband’s love. She wanted God more than she wanted to be vindicated.
Yah saw her heart and even though she did not ask for other children after the firstborn, He blessed her with five more children. This is why I believe that what she was going through had to do with more than children. He rewarded her for wanting His approval more than man’s approval.
Yah is forever faithful. How has your prayer life been lately? Are you always asking for things, thinking it will make you feel better? Or are you asking for more of Him to fill the empty holes in your heart? He will do it. I promise you. Take a moment and let Yah know how you really feel about your life at this moment. Be honest with Him whether it’s good or bad.