“She remained long at prayer before the Lord.” // 1 Samuel 1:12
I’m moved by the story of Hannah in today’s reading. Hannah was married to Elkanah, who had two wives—a common practice then. The other wife, Peninnah, had many children, while Hannah was barren. Making it worse, “to upset her, [Peninnah] would torment her constantly” (1 Samuel 1:6) about her infertility. This went on for years, and Hannah was in anguish.
One evening, Hannah went to the temple and “in her bitterness she prayed to the Lord weeping freely” (1 Samuel 1:10). She begged God for a son and promised she’d give him to God. Meanwhile, Eli, a temple priest, saw her distress. Assuming she was drunk, he reprimanded her.
Hannah could have easily become angry at Peninnah and lashed out at her for her bullying. Hannah could have doubted God and turned her back on Him for not answering her. She could have lost her temper at Eli for misjudging her.
However, time and time again, Hannah didn’t lash out. Instead, she ran to God. Despite all the turmoil surrounding her, she never lost faith.
God saw Hannah’s faithfulness and heard her cry. After she returned home to her husband, Hannah conceived and bore a son named Samuel. As promised, after Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple and offered him to the Lord.
In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we hear Hannah’s song of praise to God. Her faithfulness was rewarded beyond what she could have even imagined, having been blessed with three more sons and two daughters. I, too, prayed like Hannah for a child and experienced God’s incredible mercy and blessings.
Hannah is a powerful witness of a life activated by faith. She was able to get out of her bed and face another day because she knew God would sustain her and give her the strength to keep going. She knew He would not abandon her, even if she had to wait for her answer. And when God did answer her prayer, she was quick to thank Him and praise Him for His goodness.
In what ways is God calling you to be more faithful in your life today?She knew God would sustain her. // Bobbi Rol Click To Tweet