Post By: Katie M. Reid
Are you in a desperate situation? Does it feel like you’re facing a brick wall, with no way to get around it? Are you struggling to find hope as the season changes?
In 1 Samuel 1:1-27, 2:1-11 we read about a woman, named Hannah, who found herself in a time of desperation.
Hannah was deeply loved yet she carried around a haunting emptiness. In a time when a woman’s womb was wound up tightly to her worth, Hannah’s barrenness must have flashed “broken” like a neon sign in a dark alley.
Not only was Hannah unable to conceive but her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, had children. Not only did Peninnah have children but she provoked Hannah bitterly about her closed womb (see 1 Samuel 1:6).
Have you known that sting? It’s salt in the wound when you are lacking yet someone nearby holds the very thing you long for. Maybe they aren’t hanging it over your head but deep down you struggle to celebrate with them.
Maybe you are dealing with infertility and Hannah’s account hits a little too close to home? Or maybe you long to birth a book, or have more money in your account, or receive a clean bill of health, or to live somewhere else, or for your husband to be more attentive, or to even have a husband?
No matter what leaves you empty, I think we can all relate to the ache that Hannah carried.
She had a life-giving longing and yet, year after year, she was left unfulfilled.
Have you been there? I have. Like Hannah, I longed for a baby to hold. I had three children at the time but God birthed a deep desire to adopt a child. I assumed my God-given desire would be granted in no time; I was wrong.
Some nights I crept into the empty nursery and rocked. The tears fell and my arms ached as I longed for this baby. Where was this little life that had been conceived in my heart so many months ago?
It is hard to trust God in the dark places, when you can’t see a way out of the tunnel and you wonder if the secret desires of your soul can even be seen at all.
But in those difficult times, we can bring our desperation to the Lord and trust Him with it.
Our desperation can give birth to dedication.
My prayer is that we learn from Hannah, not so much that she finally received what her arms ached for, but that in her anguish she poured out her soul before the Lord (see 1 Samuel 1:15).
-She allowed God to see the depth of her pain (vs. 15).
-She didn’t run from God but ran to Him and asked for intervention (vs. 11-12).
-She believed God could do what she had asked of Him (vs. 17-18).
Now it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked him of the Lord’” (vs. 20, NASB).
Be assured the Lord hears you when you pour out your soul to Him. You can trust Him with the tender places of your heart.
Have you wanted something so badly that it ached? And then to make things worse someone else had what you were longing for. It is irritating and painful, and can leave you hollow; fighting for hope amidst the heap of ashes at your feet.
Left unguarded your ache can drive you away from the Lord or it can drive you to your knees.
Hope can be found at Jesus’ feet. He willingly died on the Cross—and rose again—so that you can be emptied of sin and filled with His Presence.
Like Hannah, may your desperation give birth to dedication as you cling to His unchanging hope despite your circumstances. May Jesus’ love light the way through the gray as you take the next step towards Him.
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Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, five children, and their life in ministry. Through her writing and speaking, Katie encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life.
P.S. Here is a free gift from our heart to yours!
As Katie waited to adopt she recorded an album, Echoes of My Heart. As a special gift Katie is offering a free download of a song from that album entitled, “Waitin’ On Someday”. May you be encouraged as you keep trusting the One is with you through it all.