I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring out my soul to the LORD (1 Samuel 1:15 .
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. We all have a few of those challenges in our lives sometimes. 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. 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. Hannah 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 we take our burdens to the wrong source! Who do you cry to when you are deeply troubled? Do you pour out your soul to the LORD, or just run to 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!
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). 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.