Six Lessons From Hannah

smiling infant

Hannah, A Woman Who Trusted God

Last June I reviewed The Path to Peace by Ann Swindell. Today I would like to mention six lessons we can learn from Samuel’s mother Hannah that I gained from her book.

In 1 Samuel we read the story of Hannah, the prophet Samuel’s mother. Her husband had two wives. Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children. Hannah did not.

For years Hannah prayed for a child. For years God answered no.

Lesson Number 1

While it is difficult to live in bodies that don’t work and don’t seem to measure up, there is peace in knowing our hope is not ultimately in the healing of our bodies, but in God.

Even in the midst of her troubles and grief, Hannah made a deliberate choice to worship God. She turned toward God instead of away from him.

Lesson Number 2

Comparison can cause deep pain.

Hannah chose not to compare herself with Peninnah and her ability to have children. Instead, Hannah looked to God for her identity and purpose.

Lesson Number 3

Take our sorrow to God in prayer.

Hannah poured out her heart to God in prayer. She was honest with her hurt and pain.

Lesson Number 4

Leave your requests with God.

After Hannah prayed, she got up and continued with her life. She surrendered her dreams, got off her knees, and moved on, doing the everyday things that needed done.

Lesson Number 5

Trust that God is at work in your situation in his way and his timing.

We must decide if we will continue to follow God even if he doesn’t answer our prayer the way we want him to. Hannah’s obedience and worship weren’t dependent on God’s answer to her prayer. She chose to trust that God heard and saw her, and that he would do what was best.

Lesson Number 6

Even when we receive what we most desire, it is ultimately for God’s glory, not for ourselves, lest it become an idol.

Hannah prayed for a son. She promised to dedicate him to the Lord as soon as he was weaned.

When Samuel was about two-years-old, Hannah took her precious, long-desired child to the temple to serve God. She left Samuel at the temple under the priest’s care; returning once a year with a new tunic for the gift God gave in answer to her prayers.

Your Turn

I love Hannah’s heart. I love her obedience. I love her dedication to God, even in the midst of such anguish and pain. There is much to learn from this woman of God.

For me, the hardest thing she did was walk away from her son after all the many years of tears and prayers asking God to give him to her. It was her choice. It was her way of honoring and glorifying God. And through Hannah’s sacrifice, Israel received one of its greatest prophets.

Would it have been difficult for you to leave Samuel at the temple?

We can choose to praise God for who he is and for what he has done for us, even after waving good-bye to what we hoped to keep. Ann Swindell

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After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there. 1 Samuel 1:24-28

I wish you well.


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Photo by Chiến Phạm on Unsplash

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