If you’re a mother, chances are you are familiar with Hannah’s story. If not her story, than at least a small piece of it. Probably the most quoted piece of scripture from her story is 1 Samuel 1:27.
“For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.”
I know that I personally spoke this piece of scripture over my pregnancy with our first-born. We had experienced a traumatic miscarriage a couple of years prior to, and I was desperate for Jesus to bless us with a healthy pregnancy and baby. I absolutely cherished this scripture, but to be honest, I didn’t know the whole story.
As we unpack Hannah’s life, I want you to be thinking about what makes her admirable. What makes Hannah a woman worthy to follow. I’ve listed my thoughts below, but please share any of your own takeaways in the comments below!
1. Dignified // Even when taunted, she remains steadfast in her grace.
1 Samuel 1:6-7 (ESV)
And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.
Can you imagine being picked on and bullied for YEARS? And yet, it never says that Hannah retaliated. On top of that, she had to live with the person who was continually taunting her. And it’s not as if she was being provoked on some small, insignificant matter, her husband’s other wife was literally rubbing in her face that she couldn’t have children. You want to talk about grace and dignity, Hannah is the definition of taking the high road.
Think about that for a minute. As a woman, you feel like that is just something your body should naturally do. Am I right? We were created to bear children. And when something isn’t quite right, and our bodies don’t work how they are supposed to, we can sometimes feel like we don’t measure up. In fact, in the Old Testament, a childless woman was considered a failure.
Now imagine living with someone who throws your failures into your face regularly. I doubt you and I would be so gracious as to continually bite our tongues.
2. Faithful // Even when provoked by her husband’s other wife, she still worships the Lord.
1 Samuel 1:10-11 (ESV) emphasis added
She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
Do you know how simple it would have been for Hannah to give up – to lose faith in having a child? She has gone years without conceiving. She is being ridiculed constantly. And I’m sure it feels like there is no light at the end of her tunnel. But what does she do? She prays.
Something that so easily could have turned her away from God, she allows it to pull her closer to Him. She presses into the Lord with relentless prayers and petitions.
3. Humble // Hannah honestly pours out her heart before Jesus.
1 Samuel 1:15-16 (ESV)
“…but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”
I imagine Hannah’s conversation with the Lord that day was open, honest, and raw. In verse 16 she says, “I have been speaking out of great anxiety and vexation.” She isn’t sugar coating her feelings in her prayers, she is humbling herself before the Lord and laying out exactly what is on her heart.
I believe that’s exactly what God wants us to do. He wants us to come to his feet with humbled hearts and talk to him. No differently than a mother wanting their child to come to her with their heartaches and pains. He already knows what’s going in our lives, but he WANTS us to talk to him about it.
So Hannah honestly prays to God, she receives encouragement from counsel, and then she resolves to leave her struggle with God. All of this is essentially her opening up the door for the Lord to work.
4. Trustworthy // She makes a promise to God, and follows through even when it’s painful.
1 Samuel 1:22 (ESV)
But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.”
As we read in 1 Samuel 1:11, Hannah bargains with Jesus and says that if the Lord will give her a son, she will dedicate his life to serving Him. A few passages later, Hannah conceives and is pregnant with a son. Then we are brought to the passage where it is finally time for her to bring him to the house of the Lord.
Do you know how much faith and strength Hannah had to have to take her toddler and hand him over to live with and study under Eli? She is giving over her most precious treasure. And in doing this, Hannah is outwardly demonstrating that not only can she be trusted, but she is also showing her dedication of her entire life and future to God.
Can you imagine how pleasing that must have been to Jesus?
So what about Hannah’s story stands out to you the most? What about her life speaks to your heart in your current season of life? How can Hannah be a role model for you?
Join us on Facebook as we answer these questions and share our take aways from her story on Monday, November 6th at 9:00pm CST! I hope to see you there! xo
PS. In case you missed part one of our new series, you can find it here: Gentle Spirit, Fierce Faith: Ruth