“O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you.”
We’re probably all familiar with Hannah’s plea to God for a child. I echoed this prayer many times as my husband and I faced infertility. The depth of longing in my heart for a child cannot be described. I pleaded with God daily, promising Him to raise any children He’d give me to fear and honor Him. And I am fortunate. I was blessed with three daughters, each of them a miracle, a gift from God. When I look at them, that is what I see.
I’m sure you’ve pleaded with God before too, making promises and begging for answers. That’s a good thing! In fact, He’s the best one to cry out to. The God who made you in all your complexity can certainly handle your emotions. But, dear sister, it is important to realize that in all our pleadings and the brokenness that we bring before God, we must not expect Him to make any deals with us. He is not like us, saying, “If you do this for me then I’ll do that for you.” He is better.
I love the final words we read from Hannah because they were not about herself or her fulfilled longing. They were not about the son she bore or her redemption from the shame of being barren. They were about God’s sovereignty, a recognition that God is above all things. He not only sees all the good and the bad, but He is in control.
It is easy to get caught up in our emotions and circumstances. Our sufferings can be overwhelming, making us feel anxious, fearful, and depressed. But everything we experience in this world is temporary. Only God is forever, and because of His Son, we are redeemed, just like Hannah was. Because of Him we have hope. We have the promise of heaven, a place where there is no injustice or suffering. We will not be truly satisfied until we get there and see Jesus face to face..
As we enter this new season – and even face a presidential election – let Hannah’s prayer of praise remind you of who God is: He is the Creator. He is holy. He knows and sees it all. He is just and is the judge of all people. He controls who rises to power and who falls from it. He is gracious and merciful. He is sovereign.
“My heart rejoices in the Lord!”
Thrive in Five – One set of Bible verses, 5 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Let’s dive into God’s Word.
Then Hannah prayed:1 Samuel 2:1-10
My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance!
For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;
He will judge your actions.
The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong.
Those who were well fed are now starving,
and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
And the woman with many children wastes away.
The Lord gives both death and life;
He brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s and he has set the world in order.
He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven; the Lord judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.