"So it was, year by year, when she (Hannah) went up to the house of the LORD, that she (Peninnah) provoked her; therefore she w e p t and did not eat.."
As the other wife of her husband provoked her, Hannah wept.
She loved her husband, Elkanah, and the scriptures say that he too loved her- even in her barren state.
But Hannah just couldn't take it anymore; her husband says "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
So what did Hannah do? Did she look at her husband and say, "Honey, you're right. I do love you more than ten sons, so I will give up this burden that weighs on my heart and understand that it would be impossible for me to have what my heart so longs for."
No, she didn't.
She finished eating with her husband, and she arose. I believe not only did that mean she stood from where she sat, but internally she arose- she knew what she must do;
she took her heart of grief and poured it out to the Lord as an offering, and in her anguish the truth was revealed.
To Eli, the high priest she went..
".. and she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life.."
Inside, and out.
And it's here in this place where the inner cry can be heard, and f e l t.
"Here it is God." I can hear her saying.
"I've got nothing left to give, but the brokenness of my soul.
I can't let go of this burden,
so here God, here it is."
And she makes a vow;
if you would only give me a son,
I will give him to you all the days of my life." As she weeps, and weeps, and weeps.
All of a sudden in the midst of her prayer her lips continue moving, but her voice is not heard.
Like a silent screaming of the heart.
"..And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth...
13 ... Hannah spoke in her heart; her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”
“No my Lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit.
I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.
So the woman went her way,
and her face was no longer sad...”
Heard of God.
It wasn't until Hannah fully released her desires to the Lord that the distress of her heart relinquished.
She could feel again.
“ For out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now..”
Did she know that God would give her a son? No, no she didn't.
But did she ask God? Yes, yes she did.
She arose in a willingness to come to God with what burdened her most; and in that she was free.
They named this child Samuel... "heard of God."
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
This has to come from a willingness inside of us all to give it up to God,
to fully surrender.
And when you do?
Hannah goes back to Eli, full of praise and exaltation:
Go to God with your anxious heart,
and lay the burden down.
As your weight is lifted
it just may bring the hope for someone else's to be lifted, too.
I can rest in that.
And my hope is that you can,
Scriptures: Read 1Samuel: 1,2:)