I guess there is no sadder wait than the one of a woman who longs to be a mother. From the time we are little girls it seems we live to nurture. We love babies. We are drawn to them. We hold those tiny humans and stare at their body parts in awe, playing with their toes and fingers and little nose. WE smell them and light up with delight when they look at us and smile. We take for granted that one day we will grow up and be mommies.
We marry and we assume the next joy of our lives will come in the form of a pregnancy. That day is delayed. The wait becomes a topic that consumes us and distracts us. Before long it is all we can think about.
Hannah was one such woman. Her story is written in 1 Samuel. Not only was Hannah distracted, she had another woman in her house who was driving her to despair. The other wife made Hannah miserable by taunting her. Can you imagine such a wait?
Hannah dealt with her wait through tears. 1 Samuel 1:7 describes her situation: “Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah… Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.”
We are talking about a huge wait!
Hannah cried, but she also prayed. “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. “ (vss 10-11)
I think sometimes we as women are too proud to cry. We pretend we can deal with whatever circumstance has clouded our earthly journey. I have found that crying is cleansing, exhausting, healing. After a good cry I have felt liberated. Often the exhaustion has led me to sleep. After waking up, rested and with a new and clear perspective, I’ve had the strength to persevere.
Hannah prayed. She had a conversation with God. She bargained with Him.
“If you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime,” (vs 11)
I don’t know how I feel about bargaining with God, but I do see the intimacy of the relationship. Hannah felt she could talk with God like she would with anyone from whom she wanted or needed something.
Eventually God blessed Hannah with a son who became a prophet, a priest and and a well known man of God. Her wait was worth it.
1 Samuel 2 records the song Hannah sang. Verse 5 records that she went on to have 6 more children.
Hannah waited. She cried- yes, to the point of being judged as a drunken woman. She prayed and bargained with God.
Friend, you are not alone in your wait. God sees you and He hears you. At the perfect time He will answer your prayer. As you wait, don’t be ashamed to cry. Develop an intimacy with your Father. Ask Him for whatever you want. You are the chid and He I the Father. He knows what you need.