In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord , weeping bitterly. (1 Samuel 1:10 NIV)
Hannah’s description of her circumstances is challenging. Provoked sorely by a rival who is able to have children, Hannah’s barren state creates a tension that not even the devotion of her husband can settle.
This episode of Scripture is good to read to see what it is to be in agony and distress. This was no momentary affliction, this was a persistent pain that was ever before her. In her desperation and despair she turned to God in prayer. Even though misunderstood by the priest of the time, she saw and took the opportunity to pour out her heart to God.
What is interesting is her interaction. Such was her desperate circumstances but devotion to God that just to give birth would be such a blessing, she would return that firstborn son to the service of God. That’s quite a stunning sacrifice.
To get the response she did was also quite something, for it inspired in her the name for the firstborn – one that celebrates being heard by God.
Often in our own desperate circumstances it might not appear as though we have been heard by God. The situation may worsen, our capacity to cope may go to the brink. Dreams and hopes may seem to be smashed to pieces. This is not the time, however, to forget God in the thought that he has forgotten you. In the darkest times in life when all hope seems lost, God still reaches through the gloom with the light of His presence. By that presence in the gloom of those circumstances there is assurance that you have been heard by God.
Hannah’s situation also offers hope that God hears and in the fullness of time will amazingly answer.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden