How would you feel when you need something so dearly and then someone who has what you want/need mocks you for not having it?
I cannot even begin to imagine Hannah’s ordeal when Peninnah mocked her again and again, year after year. What I love about Hannah is that she took those feelings to God rather than a party of people who will pity her and maybe help her deal with Peninnah or find a way to have children.
As I ask myself, I ask you, what is that thing that you want/need and you have been talking about it more than you pray about it? I believe that like me, you’ll want to learn from Hannah and shamelessly lay it all out bare before the Lord.
As I go on reading about this woman Hannah, one thing that stands out to me is her giving back to God the gift He gave her. (What?! What?! Hey!!!) Remember she was mocked because she didn’t have this gift. Now she gets it and gives it back (Oh Lord, may I not make the gifts you give me bigger than you the giver.) Now something interesting here is that she could have given back the child to God as a baby (and trust me, God will take care of him), but No. She fed him, cared for him and taught him great morals. (this we see in his response to Eli when he heard his name)
Now let’s pause and ask ourselves this deep question. How am I going to handle the gift I am asking for from God when He gives it to me?
Are we going to be like the man who was given one talent and he went to bury it? (Matthew 25:14-18)
Hannah’s reward for giving back to God (a well packaged gift than how she received it) was evident in the fact that she had five (5) other children. (Matthew 5:26-30)
1. Dear God, as I begin this challenge, Help me to speak to you about all my issues. Even when my mockers mock me so loudly, let my prayers ring out to you so loudly. Today I confess that I will speak to you about my worries and challenges than I speak to others about it.
When Hannah was at Shiloh, she must have been in so much pain that she could barely find the words to say out loudly and uncontrollably, the words in her heart forced her lips to move such that it got Eli’s attention and then he assumed she was drunk.
2. Father Lord, when I am at that point where I cannot find the words to express physically, listen to the words in my heart. Holy Spirit of God, I give you my express permission to speak up the words of my heart before God continually.
3. Dear Lord God, when the answers come and my mockers are silent, I pray that I don’t forget you the source of my blessings. Help me to nurture, develop and use the gift you’ve given me to the glory of your name.
Sometimes, we can’t avoid the Peninnahs of this world. However, to truly stay sane, we all need an Elkanah (Mr. Encourager).
4. Lord, when I am surrounded by the Peninnahs of this world, plant an Elkanah on my path who will encourage me and remind me of my blessings.
Married? You’ll want to add this – Lord, make [Husband name] an Elkanah, who notices my emotions, my down times and rises up to be an encourager and a support, reminding me of my blessings and your promises.
Single? Lord, give me an Elkanah who will always stand by me and be quick to encourage me and remind me of God’s blessings and promises.
5. Dear God, I know how much this gift and blessing means to me; but I ask that when you require me to give it back to you through service to you or man. Help me not to hold back in Jesus name.