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I am taking part in the 2014 A-Z Challenge - 26 posts on 26 days of April, with Sundays off. Today's letter is: H for Hannah [Click here to see my other AtoZ posts]
Hannah's name means "Favor, Grace". She lived with her husband Elkanah and his other wife Peninnah. Peninnah was very fertile, producing several children and often made Hannah's life extremely miserable, taunting her because of her barrenness. (1 Samuel 1:6) In Hannah's time, barrenness was seen as bitter reproach and shame, which only added to her sadness and grief. Although childless, Hannah remained the more loved of the two wives.
On one of the required yearly trips to Shiloh, Hannah separated from the family to pray to Jehovah God in the temple. With tears, she opened her heart to Jehovah, expressing her pain to Him. She vowed to Jehovah that if she could bear a son, she would dedicate the child to a life of service to God. (1 Samuel 1:9-11) As time went on, Hannah's spirits rose and she stopped being so affected by Peninnah's spitefulness. In fact, Hannah was overjoyed when she became pregnant with a son whom she called Samuel, meaning "Name of God". Faithful Hannah did not forget the vow she had made earlier to Jehovah and at three years old, she handed her son over to Eli, a high priest, for teaching and guidance, all the while praising and thanking Jehovah God for blessing her. (1 Samuel 2:1-10)
Little Samuel was not neglected either. His mother visited him every year in Shiloh, bringing him a handmade, sleeveless coat for his service at the tabernacle. You can only imagine how much love and care went into making that coat for her beloved child. (1 Samuel 2:19) Jehovah did not forget Hannah's faithfulness either. She was again blessed with fertility and bore her husband five more children. (1 Samuel 2:21)
Hannah's desirable qualities of humility and faith make her a fine example for us to imitate today. I find it comforting to know that no matter how laden down with stress, anxiety or overcome with sadness we are, no problem is ever too heavy for Jehovah God. Afterall, His shoulders are tremendously broader and stronger than ours. Plus, we can speak to Him openly knowing "He is the Hearer of prayer." (Psalms 55:22; 65:2; Philippians 4:6, 7)
*Scriptures ~ New World Translation Bible (2013) available to read/download free here