She prays so fervently he thinks she is drunk. She doesn’t speak out loud, just moves her mouth quietly, silently but in earnest.
Guessing by the priest’s response (that she is drunk), I presume that not too many people actually come to the temple praying earnestly, like her. Perhaps it isn’t a common sight to see such sincere, passionate prayer, and the natural assumption must be that this is a drunken woman.
When questioned, she answers honestly.
“I am not drunk,” she says… I’m just a woman pouring out her heart to God.
She is taunted because she has no children, and is looked down upon in society. Her husband loves her, but cannot fully understand her pain. “Am I not better than ten sons?” he inquires. He cannot remove the social stigma she feels, cannot stop the teasing she endures, cannot take away her pain.
God hears, and answers Hannah’s prayer.
Little Samuel is born.
Hannah offers a prayer of thanksgiving to God—right after she leaves Samuel at the temple in the care of Eli the priest; she fulfills her promise to give Samuel to full-time service in the temple. (God uses Samuel in a mighty way. Little did Hannah know, not only is her prayer for a child answered, but God also wants to rid the nation of the immoral priests and raise up people who will honor His name).
In her prayer of thankfulness and praise, she says, “it is not by man’s strength…” (see 2 Samuel, chapter 2).
It isn’t by a human’s strength that the taunting is stopped. Nobody could take away her pain of not having a child.
Rather, it is by supernatural strength, by the grace of a God who delights in giving gifts— that her gift is given and received, and that her tauntor is silenced, and that she finds favor in society when her shame is removed… all through His gifts and not by any human means.
In my own life, I ask for the same: for His strength to prevail over the unknowns, over the fears, over the unfairness, over injustices, over nay-sayers, over tauntors, over it all, over me.
So I wait in earnest, and pray in earnest to a God who listens and cares– the same God that Hannah cried out to. I ask for help, for his ear, for his direction, for his answers, for his deliverance, for Him.
I crawl into the lap of the one who loves me, and am comforted. There is no such comfort as this. I wait on the same God as Hannah.
Sharing with Emily at Imperfect Prose
and Jen at Finding Heaven