Hannah’s story is told in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah was married to Elkanah. However, Hannah was not his only wife. He was also married to Penninah. Penninah had children and Hannah did not. Penninah was ruthless and made fun of Hannah’s barrenness until she cried.
In 1 Samuel 1:8 we read some of Elkanah’s words to Hannah, “Why aren’t you eating? Why be so sad just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” A deep longing within the heart of Hannah yearned to have a baby. Elkanah, may not have realized how desperately she wanted a baby and thought she was over reacting and being too emotional.
When we want something desperately it can become our focus and we often forget God’s promises to us. We may forget that God is our merciful, loving, Father and He never wants to hurt or punish us. We may forget that God’s ways are not our ways. We may forget that God’s timing is perfect and He has reasons to wait. We may forget that when we love God He promises to work EVERYTHING out for good. Even while we worry and focus on what we want God is endlessly working for us. When we forget the promises we can sink into bitterness and anguish.
So what did Hannah do? She didn’t let the words of Penninah or the misunderstanding of her husband turn her away from God. She went to God in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed. And what happened while she was praying—Eli the priest saw her and thought she was drunk. Even when the man of God misunderstood Hannah she didn’t turn from God. Hannah boldly approached God in prayer and gave Him her problems and admitted her sin. She asked for His help. Hannah chose to follow and obey God when life got hard. It didn’t matter what happened, what others said, or how others treated her, she was sold out for God. She is an example of the words in Psalm 119:30, “I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your laws.”
When they returned home, Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her request, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. (James 2:12) God is faithful to His children. He wants to bless us. In God’s timing and in God’s way He gives. When we open our hearts and minds to God we are given much. God gave Hannah the desire of her heart—a son. But that wasn’t the only thing she received, for in God’s word we see that we are given internal blessings that we may not realize or see as gifts from God. Blessings of comfort, encouragement, strength, hope, peace, and wisdom. Hannah was given all of these through her hard time. God has not changed, what He did for Hannah He will do for you.