My three year-old daughter was a blessing and pure joy as she cheerfully filled our house with singing, good-natured preschool mischief, lots of warm hugs and sloppy kisses. She was growing into a bright and precocious child who filled my days with activity and my heart with love. Amidst the fulfillment I experienced nurturing her, a void was present deep in my mother’s heart. I knew someone was missing in our family. I had prayed fervently for a new baby for the past couple years.
After church the following Sunday, I parked in the garage while my husband and daughter went into the house to prepare lunch. I had no appetite. I opened my Bible to 1 Samuel and I started to pray and weep as I read Hannah’s story. My tears mixed with Hannah’s as she struggled with the overt slights from Peninnah and I struggled with the blessings of my more fertile friends.
In 1 Samuel 1, we read that God blessed Peninnah and Elkanah with children long before Hannah’s womb opened to conceive Samuel. Samuel’s arrival was no accident. He was the child of ardent prayer as Hannah cried out to God in such a way that Eli, the priest, thought she had been drinking too much wine. Her anguish and bitter tears reached the ears of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies with a promise to return the child to God’s service for his entire lifetime if she could conceive and carry him under her heart for a short time. God heard Hannah’s cry, then gave Eli a message for Hannah that her request for a baby would be granted.
Strengthened by Hannah’s example to plead with the Lord openly, the very next Sunday I followed suit. During the service I went to the altar and prayed for another child. Our worship pastor prayed with my husband and me. After a few minutes our pastor looked at me and assured me that the Lord had heard my cry and I could expect God to answer my prayers. With this affirmation, I imagined how Hannah must have felt when Eli said something similar to her. Have you ever felt certain that your bold act of vulnerability was heard and kept safe by God? I have. About a year later, we gathered to dedicate our infant son’s tiny new life to the Lord.
Have you ever longed desperately for someone to be part of your life? Perhaps you feel the desire for a child, a close friend, or a spouse to be in your life. Hannah’s story shows us that making ourselves vulnerable before God is the safest place to share our most desperate cries. Cry out! Share your desire with the One who already knows your deepest hopes and dreams. Trust Him with your longings and know that He is listening!
Memory verse: “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.” 2 Samuel 22:7 NIV
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Angi Morrison Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes