Open Your Bible
1 Samuel 1:1-28, 1 Samuel 2:1-11, Philippians 4:4-7
BY Guest Writer
Have you ever sobbed so hard that your body shook? Hot tears welling up from places you didn’t even know existed? Did you wonder if the tears would ever stop? I’ve cried tears like that. I’ve felt that kind of desperation, and yet somehow and in some way it’s there that God has proven He is exactly who He says He is.
In today’s reading we see that Hannah has been there too. As so many women who have come after her, Hannah was greatly grieved by her circumstances. “Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the LORD and wept with many tears” (1 Samuel 1:10). Through her story, we are given an example of what it means to approach God honestly with our pain.
God cares about our pain. He knows how many tears you and I have cried (Psalm 56:8). Just as He cared about Hannah’s deep pain, He cares about yours and mine too. God wants us to know what to do with our hurt, and that He will meet us in our suffering. We can start by taking our pain to Him in bold and honest prayer, just as Hannah did:
“LORD of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction,
remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son,
I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life” (v.11).
God hears the cries of our hearts. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). He is worthy of our trust, which is something Hannah truly believed. Scripture tells us that after praying, “Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent” (1 Samuel 1:18). Hannah did not yet know whether God was going to give her a child, but she went away confident that He had heard her plea. As should we!
God comforts us in our pain. I understand the relief that comes from honest prayer. After losing my son, I prayed to God repeatedly, sobbing, “I want him back right now!” In that deep, unimaginable pain, I found Him to be the tender God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3). I also found that His Word is true; He truly “is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
We don’t need to be ashamed of our pain. When Eli accuses Hannah of being drunk, she tells him like it is: “I am a woman with a broken heart” (v.15). No excuses, no shame, no embarrassment. Sadness is part of the human condition that points to our need for a saving God. It is okay to be sad. Hannah’s honest prayer points to God’s reliable power and goodness. And so she declares, “There is no one holy like the LORD. There is no one besides you!” (1 Samuel 2:2).
God did give Hannah a son, yes, but more than that, He gave her the peace of His presence. He is with us as well. In His presence, may we learn to rejoice in Him always—regardless of our circumstances. May we learn to bring Him the deepest longings of our hearts, “through prayer and petition with thanksgiving. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” will be ours (Philippians 4:4,6–7). He waits to comfort us.
Maria Furlough is a wife and a mother to one amazing 11-year-old daughter, three rambunctious boys, and one baby boy who lives in the arms of Jesus. Formerly a full-time youth pastor, Maria now teaches women’s Bible studies and works as the Missions Team leader at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. Maria is the author of Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for You Anxious Heart and Confident Moms, Confident Daughters. You can find Maria on Instagram or Facebook @MariaFurlough or online at www.mariafurlough.com.