I Wish I Knew What She Knew

 

woman-1031508_1280There is one story in the bible that I have always struggled with, a story that has made me aware of my faults, and made me want a deeper understanding of God. That is the story of Hannah.

Hannah had a hard life, she was married to a man named Elkinah, but Elkinah had another wife as well, Peninnah.

That for one is something I couldn’t even begin to imagine, there is no way that I would want to share my husband with another woman. And then imagine what it would be like having to live with her, having to see her every single day!

As if that wasn’t enough Hannah was unable to have children, but Elkinah’s other wife was. If Hannah didn’t already have enough to feel resentful about, she did now.

Peninnah wasn’t the kind of woman who would let Hannah quietly mourn the fact that she was unable to have children. Peninnah  was jealous that Hannah was the favourite, so she would taunt her, to the point where Hannah was so distraught she was unable to eat.

One day Hannah was praying in the house of the Lord. She was so overcome by the sadness of the situation that the priest in charge thought that she was drunk. Hannah was desperate for child. I’m sure she had the same strong desire many other woman have, but on top of that she faced the pain of watching her rival have children with her husband. As she was praying she made a promise to God, that if she gave her a son, she would give him back to the work of God.

God heard her and God answered her prayer, she had a son, Samuel.

And she kept her promise. Even though she had been desperate for a child,  when she finally had one, she gave him away. She gave him to the temple. to be raised there.

I don’t think that’s something that I could have done.

If I had been praying for one thing for years and years and years I don’t think I could let go of it that easily. I think I would hold onto it as tightly as I could.

But Hannah was different.

What God gave her she gave away.

She understood that her child really belonged to God. She was so thankful for him, that the only way she could thank God enough was to hand him back to God.

Even as I am writing this I find that hard to comprehend. I don’t think it’s something I could do. And yet I know that Hannah had an understanding of God that I find so hard to grasp, so hard to understand, and yet more difficult to put into words.

She loved God so much that she was willing to give to him the best thing that she had. The thing that she had be praying and praying for.

She was able to keep her palms wide open, knowing that what God gave to her was really his all along.

I don’t think I really understand what Hannah knew. But I wish I did.

I wish my hands could be as open as hers.

I wish that I had a true understanding of where my blessings came from.

I wish I knew deeply what she knew.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “I Wish I Knew What She Knew

  1. Yes I agree with beckielindsey. It also occurred to me that had Hannah not had to suffer, she wouldn’t have been desperate enough to offer the deal. Reading the story now, we can look back and see how important a figure Samuel was in the history of Israel. God brought something wonderful out of her sufferings. More wonderful than she could have ever realised in her lifetime. God wastes nothing, especially not our pain.

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  2. Be careful what you wish for! God will take you deep into that kind of faith but that faith never comes without great suffering. The more broken, the most lost, the more anguished, the more God will use us for His glory. Like “widemargin” said above, “God wastes nothing, especially our pain” and spiritual fruit grows deep roots in great pain. You want that fruit? God will use you. I know! LOL Prepare yourself for battle! Also, I suspect God told Hannah the purposes her child would fulfill and brought her great peace so she knew it was a gift to be the Mother of such a man.

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  3. I love this story too and yes, so many hard questions. It’s so hard to grasp Hannah thoughts and what she must have been thinking. I’m learning in the instances where God provides in our lives, whether it be a baby as with Hannah or the moments we realize He hears us and provides for us, we want to share, we want to give back to Him what He has given us. All for His glory, none of our own. She for sure had a fervent trust in Him!

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  4. This is such a beautifully written post. Your reflections on Hannah’s faith drew me in and made me want to know and hunger more for God too. Thank-you…

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  5. whew, yeah, i’ve struggled with that bit for quite a few years now. How was she able to? such trust and faithfulness! How wonderful if we were somehow able to sit and talk with her??? Thanks for sharing this!

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