“And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.” I Samuel 1:6-7
Hannah had a problem. She was barren. In those days that was a sign of reproach. It was not because of any sin in her life that caused her to be that way. Verse six of Chapter 1 tells us that the Lord had shut up her womb. As we read her story, we can see that the Lord was preparing her for a special purpose, and until it was His perfect time, she would remain without a child.
As usual, the family journeyed to Shiloh to worship the Lord. Hoping it wopiould be different this year, Hannah accompanied them. As her adversary provoked her, she began to weep and refused to eat. She had persevered for years, rising above the pain that she bore. She had trusted God and done everything she knew to worship and please him. But it seemed like she had come to the end of her rope. In desperation, she walked away from her family and found a quiet place to seek the face of the Lord.
In bitterness of soul, she wept and cried before the Lord. “Lord, I have waited so long for a child. Would you please look on my affliction and hear my cry today? Grant the desire of my heart and give me a little boy. I will give him to you to serve you.” This prayer came from the very depths of her heart.
Eli realized that she was asking something special from the Lord, and he spoke peace to her, saying that the God of Israel would grant her petition. Hannah rose in peace, believing the promise, and went back to her family to eat. Joy replaced the sorrow in her heart. We know the rest of the story, how in due time, Samuel was born, and Hannah fulfilled her promise to give him to God.
Again, we see how God hears the cry from a broken heart, and in His love and mercy steps in and restores the joy. He makes something beautiful out of what was once considered of no value.
Whatever may be broken in your life today, remember His promise in Jeremiah 29: 11-13:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are still seeking after those that are broken, and when we cry out to you, your mercy and love will restore us and make something beautiful of our lives.
Devotion by Anne Johnston