Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Hannah Attitude

We read the story of Hannah at church this past Sunday and I have been thinking about it since. I have heard the story itself many times but have never seen God portrayed as intimately until this week.

1 Samuel 1;1-20
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
 3Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7So 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. 8And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
9After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11And 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."
 12As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14And Eli said to her, "How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you." 15But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation." 17Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him." 18And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes." Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
 19They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked for him from the LORD.

I am really struck by three specific things in this story.
First of all; God uses the insignificant to accomplish His purpose.
We cannot assume to measure who or what situation God can use in His favor. I really think that the more we try to do so, the more we are limiting God Himself. He took a small "podunk"(as my teacher said this Sunday) town as the birthplace of His Son. He used a young girl, "Who had known not any man" to bear Him. He always seems to take a 'Nobody" and start from scratch to receive even more glory for Himself!
How can we choose who God will use.
It reminds me of this song, "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath.

Secondly, God cares even about the little things that bother us.
To Hannah, being teased about being barren was a big thing. It wasn't a life or death situation but God knew her heart and felt her pain. How often do we consider small problems as too trivial for God's time and try to conquer or solve them ourselves.
He not only cares but wants you to confide those deepest feelings in Him.

And the last note is this:
Take your prayers to the Lord EXPECTING and answer. How often do we bring our prayers and supplications before God  and then proceed to try and solve the problem on our own or worry and fret about it.  Hannah left the temple after speaking with Eli, convinced of an answer. God was going to accomplish a miracle through her and that gave her joy.  I always say to my husband when I'm upset, "I just need to vent and then I"ll  feel better."  When you give your worries to God, do it the same way (In essence, people, don't take that literally!) When you're done....leave it there.
He says "Cast all your cares upon me" 1 Peter 5:7
He can handle it.

I'm praying this week that I can have a "Hannah" attitude
in my relationship with my heavenly Father.
What a wonderful thing to be able to say that
"My God can accomplish ANYTHING!"

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