Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-28
What happens to us when we internalize what others say? If the opinions of ourselves are low we will be pulled even lower any time someone says something negative or criticizes our frail egos. But, what if that was the purpose? What if the reason we feel inferior is to give birth to something greater? As we read in 1 Samuel 1 we learn that Hannah was provoked; demoralized, vexed, and angered, to the point of being anxious, depressed, and miserable by her adversary, Peninnah. Why? Because Hannah was unable to conceive a child. How hateful and downright rude…huh? Peninnah had sons and daughters but not the unconditional love of Elkanah which drove her to jealousy.
The perfect story plot?!… We see this repeated in books, t.v shows, movies, and life today. Love and romance. It is the cause for a lot of conversations today and the basis of several reality shows. We want to know who wins; so we pick sides and fall for the underdog every time. More often than not we see the ending long before it happens, but we’re invested until the last sentence is uttered or written.
The thought of jealousy or envy may have been lost on Hannah because she was so aware of her misfortune that it was all she could focus on. Even her husband was O.K. with the fact that she was barren. 1 Samuel 1:8 KJV Elkanah wanted Hannah to be satisfied with him, even asking why he wasn’t enough. Every day Hannah dealt with the feelings of loneliness and uselessness; she became bitter. Peninnah pushed Hannah further.
Have you ever been pushed to do something that was out of the ordinary?
1 Samuel 1:13 KJV Scripture tells us that Hannah prayed with her heart. Her mouth was moving but no sound was coming out. She must have looked “crazy”. Eli the priest proclaimed she was drunk. Hannah explained that she allowed her prayer to come from within. Her soul, her heart, her most essential presence was speaking and allowing all she was feeling to be laid before the Lord. After years of feeling desperate to conceive and being angry, she was given peace and hope.
1Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.”
When we are provoked what do we do? Are we ready to pray and continue praying until something happens? Are we willing to give it over to God and trust His divine timing? Or are we too afraid and act out of anger? There is a reason this story is in the Bible. There is a reason it still holds true today. We all have a purpose in God’s holy plan.
Who is God using to push you closer to Him?
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