I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people argue that they don’t like the Bible because of its focus on the men while leaving the women as secondary characters. They would go on about how great the male-centered stories were, but there are many women in the Bible with great stories too. They had faith, stood up to kings, saved Israel from her enemies, demonstrated often how to trust God, and so many other things! There were many women in the Bible that were used by God to do great things and one in particular that stands out to me is Hannah.
I truly admire Hannah, and my admiration for her grows each time I read her story. Almost every woman in history desired to have kids and it was a sign of honor for women during Hannah’s time. Any woman that was barren felt great shame, and Hannah was of that number.
What Hanna did next was very inspiring. Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she decided to go to the temple to petition God in prayer. Her prayer was a selfless one because she asked God to bless her with a baby and promised that she’d give the child back to Him. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy prayer to pray, especially when you must give up something very dear to you. But when you’re trusting God, you know that He will always come through. She was so deep in prayer and pouring her heart out to the Lord, that Eli thought she was drunk. Sometimes people will think you’re crazy for what you’re praying to God for or how you pray but remember that faith is risky, and unbelief is deadly. To be barren and have someone ridiculing and making fun of you isn’t a good feeling. Something that I’ll always live by is “when God says yes, nobody can say no.” Peninnah would make fun of her, but little did she know that God was about to bless Hannah with a baby. (Psalms 37:4- Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.) Hannah never tried to get revenge, she knew that God would fight her battle for her. (1 Samuel 2:3- Quit acting so proud and arrogant! The Lord knows what you have done, And He will judge your deeds.)
Anyone who loves God must sacrifice something for Him. Sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. For Hannah to finally have a baby and give it right to God was a sacrifice. The great thing about God is that anything we give up for Him is always replaced with better/more. (1 Samuel 2:21- And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.) Hannah went from being barren to having 6 kids. This reminds me of one of my favorite verses (Ephesians 3:20- Now glory be to God, who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.) Hannah’s story of faith encourages people who are sick that with God anything is possible. If you look at things in the natural it seems like it’ll never happen.
That’s why we need to stop fixing our eyes on what we see now and focus on the what we’re trusting God for. Faith is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Remember that we can never please God without faith without depending on Him. Hannah went from barren to abundance, having many children because of her faith in God.