Rise in Strength – Receive God’s strength like Hannah
Come to God in your weakness and uncertainty and receive HIS Strength like Hannah did.
Life is unfair, to say the least! God withholds things that we expect to receive. Things like family harmony, health or success in our work life. When everything is going smoothly, we forget that God is in control of our lives, so we go our own way and do not trust wholly in God’s strength. When things do not go our way, we can grow frustrated and discouraged, even sinking into victimhood.
Hannah’s story in the bible can teach us how to navigate life’s unfair seasons, with humble patience, deep peace, and authentic joy.
All girls are taught from a young age that if they want something in life then they must work for it. Either earning money for doing chores, looking after younger family members, or graduating from school or university girls always seem to have to work harder than their brothers to achieve their goals. This hard work is relentless, never ending and exhausting, to us girls, physically and spiritually. When we falter, we try to recover by picking ourselves up and doing it all again.
1 Samuel 2:1, tells the story of Hannah as she sings of her joy and strength: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high”
But Hannah was not always joyful, this story starts with the revelation of Hannah’s miserable circumstances. She was the first of the two wives of Elkanah and having two wives in one house will always cause disruption. Hannah was not able to have children, which caused a lot of heartbreak. In bible times, not being able to have children meant you were worthless and no good. Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah had many children, so she was always teasing Hannah and putting her down, making Hannah upset and longing for a child of her own even more. But Hannah continued with her everyday life, her chores, looking after her husband and even Peninnah’s’ children.
Then one year at the worship time of Shioloh, Hannah was in the depths of despair. Broken and defeated Hannah took time away from the chaos that was her life and went straight into the arms of Yalweh (God). Hannah lay at his feet all the things that pulled her away from God. God met Hannah in the place of emptying and receiving and gave Hannah true strength.
Hannah story demonstrates how meeting with God in vulnerability and brokenness and pouring out your heart and soul to the Lord, praying about your troubles and believing God was the one who could change your life, really does work. In God’s own timing, we must be patient. Hannah prayed: “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.” 1 Samuel 1:11.
Hannah not only prayed, but she believed the creator could take away her deepest sadness and darkness, that no walls stood between them. To meet in pray with our Lord requires our total honesty and trust that he hears and wants to help with our heartaches that we lay before him. Although Hannah did not know how the Lord would answer her prayer, she did go home from the temple a changed woman, no longer sad and alone, but knowing the Lord took all her troubles and weakness on his shoulders.
Many of us rely on our own true grit to overcome our weaknesses and troubles. To lay them before the Lord, as Hannah did, takes great strength and courage. Hannah’s strength was in her weakness. In 1 Samuel 2 Hannah sang about her great God, who reverses fortunes, gives children to the childless and fills the hungry. Hannah’s song continues about failure for anyone who felt confident enough to trust in themselves instead of trusting in God’s strength.
Hannah gave birth to a son, raised him, then gave him to the temple to live with the Lord. She continued to worship and praise the Lord, and he gave her more children. Her son, Samuel led Israel out of the dark and he challenged Israel to find strength with God.
Just like God, who chose to become a weak and humble human so that we could gain strength that lasts forever, Hannah chose to give her weakness to God. In return, God her gave her strength in a son! It would be pleasing to God if we all choose to give our weakness to him, in this way we can all Rise in Strength!