September 15: Hannah

Read 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11

Years of bullying had Hannah reeling alone in her pain, grieving the child she longed to hold. It’s believed to have been the Passover Feast that took them to Shiloh. The Bible says Elkanah and his family went to God’s house and offered Him the sacrifices He’d commanded through Moses. (See Exodus 12.) The feast would have been a long one, 12 whole courses, but Hannah refused to eat. 

Year after year, Hannah would reel alone in her pain and her brokenness, unable to eat the meal of remembrance, the once-a-year feast that spoke of God’s delivering His people from Egypt’s oppression. Hannah sat at that Passover table, pretending to remember how God had saved His people from their bullies even as she suffered the pain of her own oppression under the bully called Penninah.

This time was different, though. For whatever reason, after this particular Passover meal, Hannah got up and made her own offering to the LORD. Unlike her husband’s fat offering, hers was one of pain and brokenness. Hannah went before Almighty God and poured out her heart, from the depth of (her) anguish and resentment (v16, Holman).

She made a vow even as she begged Him for a son from her womb. Then she stood up and went on her way. Hannah went in the freedom God gave her when she unloaded her burden on Him.

The next morning, Hannah and Elkanah worshiped God before they went home. She worshiped Him from the freedom He’d given her the night before. Just like Elkanah had left his offering on the altar, so had she, never to take it back, as tempting as that might have been. For we read in verse 20 that it took some time for her to conceive.

But she did conceive, and she bore a son, and Hannah made good on her vow to God. In fact, Hannah’s offering to God increased when she brought her son Samuel and fulfilled the promise she’d made the year before at the temple. That night, she had offered her brokenness. This time she offered her wholeness.

I now give the boy to the LORD (1:28).

Then she offered a prayer of thanksgiving unlike any she had ever prayed. From the fullness of her freed up heart, Hannah praised God.

Indeed, God had taken Hannah’s prayer of utter brokenness and destitution and turned it into one of absolute gratitude and acclamation.

Are you ready for God to transform the pain in your life? Have you offered it to Him in true dependence and humility, trusting Him to take care of it in His perfect way? Have you left it with Him?