Are you living with a pain, disappointment, or an unpleasant situation in your life that has brought you shame, scorn, sorrow and even condemnation? Am sure you know what I mean, those situations and issues that you’d rather not talk about them; but they often make you cry at night wondering why God has deserted and forsaken you. You even complain out of frustration sometimes and say even people who are worse than you don’t have this issue or experience, why is God allowing you to become known or associated with this shameful situation. You know how someone’s identity is tied to an issue they are battling with and called names like ‘sickly Tom’, ‘barren Hannah’, ‘poor Kim’ etc. If you’ve found yourself in this type of situation, cheer up, don’t be dismayed. Its a set up to turn your life around. God wants to turn around the pain and shame that you are experiencing into glory and a happy ending for you. Hannah went through this kind of situation but at the end it was victorious. Let’s see what happened and the lessons we can learn from it.
In the first chapter of the first book of Samuel, we are introduced to a woman named Hannah, she was the first wife of a man named Elkanah, and she was barren. Her mate,i.e her husband’s second wife taunted her regularly, reminding her of her barrenness. It was from this state of despair that Hannah’s burden was born.
She alone knew what her heart’s longing was. The Bible records that even her husband could not understand why she sorrowed. ‘ Am I not more to you than ten sons?(1 Sam :8)’ he said. It wasn’t his burden and that is why when she went to groan before the Lord, she groaned alone.
Lessons We Can Learn From Hannah’s Story
1. Do not be annoyed when loved ones and respected Christians do not understand your burden, neither despair when they do not groan with you. It is yours, take it to the Lord and remain in prayer until you get an answer. Even Eli the priest thought Hannah was drunk while she prayed in the temple, but that did not stop her, she groaned until she felt she had been heard.
2. Her burden served a purpose greater than her personal need. The Bible records that Hannah told God ‘if you give me a son, I will give him back to you (vs 11). She wasn’t just concerned about having the title of ‘barrenness’ removed as the prefix to her name! She wanted something more-God’s kingdom expansion. So the question is, what is your burden, how will your burden if lifted serve kingdom purposes? Are you more concerned about how to pay back those who have mocked you because of some deficiency, is your desire for answered prayers a need to show off? If it doesn’t serve God’s purpose, of what use is it anyway?
[Tweet “Hannah influenced the destiny of her son Samuel. Whose destiny are you changing?”]
3. You can chart the course of someone’s destiny. Hannah was a woman who determined the destiny of her son Samuel. She dedicated him to the service of God without first seeking her husband’s consent. Indeed there was a need for a priest at that time since Eli had failed to correct the evil his sons were doing in the house of God. Samuel became the next priest and judge ( the last judge too) of Israel and all because his mother gave him to God. Whose future will your burden change? Perhaps your children, your country or even people unknown to you.
4. When you think of His kingdom first,He will give you back your heart’s desire, full measure pressed down and running over. Many people may wonder why a barren woman would decide to give up her son at such a tender age to God’s work. Him becoming a priest meant she had to let go of him at a tender age. The Bible records that after the boy had been weaned, she took him to the temple and handed him over to Eli, she would visit him only once a year. She had the right to keep him, afterall he was an answer to her prayers, her many tearful nights of groaning, he was evidence to her mate that she too can have a child, but she gave him up. And the Bible records a wonderful end to Hannah’s story, she had five more children aside Samuel ( 1 Sam 2:21). This is what happens when you give back to God what He gave you in answer to your need, He will surely give you more than you could ever have asked Him or imagined.
Will You Let God Turn Around Your Shame?
Who then is willing to pray like Hannah did, turning their personal needs and burdens into tools through which God can accomplish His purposes here on earth? Do you know that the pain, shame or need you are experiencing now maybe a gateway to the fulfilment of God’s purpose in the lives of many people? Have you imagined what could happen if Hannah had not done what she did? Likewise, I urge you not to take lightly what God may use you to accomplish when you and when God answers your prayers. I pray that the Lord will do in your situation much more than what He did with Hannah’s burdens.