The Old Testament book of Samuel introduces us to Hannah: a godly woman who had some serious problems. Her problems weren’t brief and they weren’t simple. They were year after year problems. Challenges that made her feel empty and frustrated. Have you got a few of those in your life? Sure you do. We all do. Each of us go through trials and face pain.
Hannah experienced infertility and she also had a disturbing rival-wife problem that was miserably complicated. Yes, cringe with me, I said rival-wife. She was one of TWO wives to her husband… a cultural norm at the time… but terribly difficult, no matter how you slice it. (Read 1 Samuel 1-2 for the full story of Hannah.)
Refreshingly enough, in her pain Hannah didn’t pretend to be okay. She openly admitted, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled” (1 Samuel 1:15).
There are many lessons we can learn from Hannah, but today I’d like us to look at her response to the problems that burdened her heart. Hanna took her problems to God. She cried out to the Lord. “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.” (1 Samuel 1:10).
She took her burdens directly to God.
Now, I don’t know about you, but all too many times I go to the phone before I go to the throne!
Who do you cry to when you are deeply troubled? Do you pour out your soul to the LORD, or just pepper Him with vague prayer requests? Hannah didn’t just briefly bend a knee here, she poured out her soul! She poured out her sorrow, her disappointments, her frustrations, her depression, her confusion, her anger, her embarrassments, her anguish and her grief.
She poured out her emptiness!
And guess what happened?
God filled her with the fullness of His peace!
Before she spent time with the Lord, Hannah had lost her appetite and was filled with despair. After she poured out her soul to God, the Bible shows us that her appetite returned and her countenance had changed. “Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast” (1 Samuel 1:18, emphasis mine).
Hannah was “no longer downcast” because she experienced the One and Only life-changing God in the chamber of His presence.
God is faithful. He longs to fill our souls with peace regardless of the circumstances we face. Hannah was changed in the presence of the almighty LORD, but realize this: Hannah didn’t just do a “drive thru” prayer time with God. She parked there for a while and did some serious business with Him.
Have you done any serious business with God lately?
Got any problems?
Are you dealing with any difficult people?
Are you faced with any seemingly impossible situations?
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19). When you get serious with God… when you get real honest and pour out your soul to Him, He will faithfully replace your empty with the fullness of His peace, whether he removes your burdens or allows them to remain.
Don’t doubt it for a minute, friend.
Jesus himself said, “All things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Let’s each take courage and approach God with confidence today, knowing that He loves us and is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we can ask for or imagine.
Spend some time pouring out your soul to Him right now.
Heavenly Father, I come to You today and humbly ask Your forgiveness for all of the times that I’ve taken my burdens to others instead of bringing them to You. Help me to turn to You first when problems come my way. Please blanket my heart with your peace and give me strength for today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION: Pause to consider the challenges you are currently facing. Make a list of the top concerns on your heart, and then spend time pouring your soul out to the Lord.
Read Psalm 34, then write out your favorite verses and commit them to memory.
RESPONSE TIME: Post a comment below to share a prayer need, a verse that leapt to your heart or to simply state, “I poured my soul out to Him!”
I know that many of you are in the trenches of seemingly impossible situations, bearing the weight of very heavy burdens. God cares about your struggles. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Spend some time quieting your soul beside the Living waters of Jesus today. Listen to “Quiet Me”…
Let’s chat below. Pray for one another. Encourage one another.
Thanks for doing life with me,