December 17, 2017

Weeping Hannah

1 Samuel 1:1-20

I am a woman who is deeply troubled. . . . I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.

—  1 Samuel 1:15

Hannah desperately wanted chil­dren. Every year, when her family went to worship at Shiloh, she judged herself to be a failure by her culture’s standards. And one day it broke her. She sank into deep anguish; she couldn’t eat, and all she could do was weep. No one could comfort or console her.

But despite the hopelessness of her situation, Hannah prayed and turned to, not away from, the Holy One, who “had closed her womb.”

She begged God to attend to her forsakenness and grant her a son. In her prayer Hannah trusted that God heard her and cared about her and would answer her prayer. And God did hear and care; he also answered Hannah’s prayer with the gift of a son.

When we experience dark days and seasons of grief and despair, like Hannah we too can cry out to God and claim his faithfulness. In such moments we are called to remember the true story of our generous, gracious God—the God of hope, the God who will make right what is wrong in our lives, the God who will overturn all that causes grief in our world.

God has answered our prayers with the gift of his Son. Jesus is the answer to all our prayers, and we will soon be celebrating his birth on Christmas day.

Do you love and serve this Jesus?

Lord Jesus, when we are living in dark places, help us to remember that you are the light of the world who has come to show us the way to life. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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