This morning while having my daily quiet time with the Lord, I came across this piece of scripture that really spoke to me. It spoke to me because it reminded me of a place I used to be, and also because it reminded me of a mission I feel the Lord has really placed on my heart, encouraging young women during the difficult times of life. I was immediately compelled to write a blog post about it. The scripture was from 1 Samuel 1, and said this:
At the time, Hannah (the woman speaking) was desperately desiring to have a child. The scripture says Hannah got up and went to pray because she was in deep anguish, crying bitterly. She was apparently so distraught that Eli the priest thought she was drunk. The Bible doesn’t say exactly how long she had been unable to conceive, but it is believed to have been 15-20 years. Can you imagine how discouraged she must have been? While I have never experienced this particular struggle, I have definitely had times in my life when I was very discouraged. When I was sad beyond what I thought I could handle. And while during those times of pain I would prefer to never have to experience those situations in the first place, they are also the times when I have been able to draw more close to the Lord than ever and looking back I am so thankful for them. It has been during these times when I had no where to turn but to God, that my prayer life became really rich and my relationship with the Lord deepened. Like Hannah, I prayed out of great anguish and sorrow, and poured out my heart to the Lord. While this might not seem like a happy time to begin with (and in the moment it really isn’t), if read just two lines down you see where the joy comes in. After pouring her heart out to the Lord, it says, “she was no longer sad.” She was no longer sad! That is the amazing thing about having a relationship with God, he can do much more than you can ever imagine. While I love to pray prayers of praise and thanksgiving and gratefulness, God tells us he wants us to not “worry about anything, but pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6, emphasis added). He wants us to come to Him with all our worries and leave them at his feet. And the proof is in the pudding, I have personally experienced the same cathartic relief Hannah experienced, coming away from praying out of great anguish and sorrow and no longer being sad. Even being genuinely happy and excited. I don’t think there is any worldly person or thing that can offer that kind of true transformation, it is something only the Lord himself can provide. Sure, you might be able to find fake alternatives in things like drinking, drugs, or quick relationships, but the comfort they provide will always fade because they are just masking the problem, not providing a solution.
My prayer is that the story of Hannah is not just one that we can relate to, but more importantly respond in the way Hannah did, a way that leads to true healing. Whether you are someone that has gone through a devestating breakup, experienced the loss of a loved one, are sad and insecure about who you are or what your body looks like, have difficulties within your family, no matter what it is, if you will just pour your heart out to the Lord and ask Him for help, he will be faithful to provide. You may or may not know this (I know I didn’t for a long time), but God has many names. While he is one God, he has many names that all describe different attributes of who He is. I always like to remind myself of these different names depending on what is going on in my life at the time. If you are in a time of anguish or sorrow, remember that he is Yahweh-Shalom (the Lord is peace, Judges 6:24) and Yahweh-Yireh (the Lord will provide, Genesis 22:14). God will provide your peace, just seek him and ask.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11