1 Samuel 1:1
Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out
of great anguish and sorrow (v.16).
Sometimes life holds moments—and even needs—
too deep for words. Not all silence comes from
a desire to hide or pretend we’ve got life together.
The reasons may be varied: Perhaps we feel the need
to keep a rightful confidence or find that speaking puts
another’s reputation at unnecessary risk. Other times,
we fail to find sufficient wording to express the longing
of our heart. Whatever the reason, from such a trial we
learn that some places cannot be reached by human
voice until we’ve surrendered to the divine.
Hannah knew such a place (1 Samuel 1:2). Unable to
relate to her maternal longings, Elkanah couldn’t offer
words to soothe her heartache, and Peninnah only cared to
gain a more sizeable target for her barbed comments. No
one understood—not even the priest who was appointed to
go before the throne of God on her behalf (v.14).
Silent before others, Hannah knelt before God in deep
sadness as she wrestled with the unanswered questions
of why the God who created the entire universe had
not yet given her a single child (vv. 5-6). In loving
compassion, God answered.
Hannah’s hope in God, however, came long before the
moment of Samuel’s conception. For in faith she vowed
to dedicate her son to God if He chose to give her one
(v.11). And when she was assured by Eli that God would
grant her request, she believed (v.18).
Jesus had to drink of the bitter cup of sorrow (Luke 22:41-44). Though His
anguish was infinitely greater than what Hannah experienced or what we might
endure, He can identify with us in our pain and grief.
Able to bring life from barrenness, the God who heard Hannah’s cries is the
same God today. Rest in His presence even as you acknowledge His sovereign
Read Psalms 20:1 and consider what God’s presence means to us
during difficult times.
How can living in a world of constant communication make us
feel even more lonely in times of silence? How can we know when
we need to share our struggles with others and when we need to speak
them only to the Lord?