"Hannah's adversary"

Caroline Petrie was suspended without pay last year. Her offense? She offered to pray for an elderly patient to whom she was giving care. When the married mom of two was informed of her discipline, she expressed sadness and surprise, but she didn't lash out at her accuser or those who suspended her.

Her response reminds me a lot of Hannah's in 1 Samuel 1. Her husband, Elkanah, had unwisely (and against God's plan for marriage, Genesis 2:24) married another woman, possibly so that he could have children (v.2; see also Genesis 16:1-3, 30:3-10). This led to some ugly behavior. Peninnah, wife no. 2, taunted Hannah, gloating in the fact that she had borne Elkanah children while Hannah had none (v.6).

So how did Hannah respond to these attacks? Did she mount a counterattack and send back a volley of insults, including the fact that Elkanah actually loved her more than Peninnah? (v.5). Scripture reveals that she chose something else. She chose to pray.

Sobbing and groaning in raw, emotional pain (v.10), she poured out her heart to God (v.15). Instead of dwelling on her adversary, she chose to rest in the arms of her Advocate. And God heard her and chose to bless her with a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I asked the Lord for him" (v.19).

Will God always give us the desire of our heart? No. But we know He is good and that He will bring about the good works in our life that we need (Romans 8:28).

In Caroline Petrie's life, God chose to restore her job after she chose to call on Him rather than curse her adversaries. Call on God as you face your adversary. He is listening. , Tom Felten, Our Daily Journey

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