Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
1 Samuel 1:1-18 (NRSV)
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: “O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”
As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.
We live in a messed-up world. It seems that we cannot turn on the television or look at social media feeds without seeing the news of another tragedy. It is scary to think of the evil and the hatred that surround us.
If we aren’t dealing with the bad news of the world around us, then we’re dealing with our own struggles. Hannah was dealing with the struggles of bullying and the inability to have a child. Those are very real problems that some of you may be experiencing today. Others are dealing with illnesses, tests, surgeries, and various physical problems. There are some dealing with the problems of addictions, depression, anxiety, and other issues. Sometimes we try to hide those struggles from the world, but we cannot nor should we ever try to hide those issues from God.
Hannah whispered her prayer to the Lord. Sometimes, we want to whisper our prayers. Sometimes, we want to scream our prayers at God. Sometimes, we don’t even know what to say to God. But, thankfully, we serve a God who desires to hear our prayers regardless of how, or even if, the words come.
Let us have the faith of Hannah, offering our prayers to God, knowing that through God, the impossible becomes possible.
All-Knowing, all-loving, all-powerful God, it is humbling to know that you love each of us individually and that you want to carry our burdens. Today we thank you for inviting and encouraging us to place our troubles and our pains at your feet. We each carry hurts and have reasons to weep. We have prayers that we want to whisper or scream or to which we cannot even give voice. Help us to have the courage to let go of our burdens and allow you to carry them for us. Amen.
Go with God.