All of us at one time or another have cried out to God with that anguished word— ‘Why?’ Circumstances and disappointments can bring a world of misery. Sickness comes, finances crash, relationships fail, loved ones die, and the faith which was supposed to keep us is shaken to it’s core.
We ask ‘why’ a lot, but rarely do our ‘why’s get answered to our satisfaction.
Hannah’s experience in 1 Samuel 1 doesn’t give us all the answers either, but it does tell us how to live with our ‘why’s.
Hannah’s greatest disappointment was not being able to have children because ‘the LORD had closed her womb’. 1 Samuel 1:5
The Lord had closed her womb for reasons that He was not giving at the moment. We also have to look at our own trials and unfulfilled longings and come to know that the Lord may never give us the reasons why this side of Heaven. We have to be content to say, “I don’t understand why, but I know God knows and He is in control.
Hannah didn’t know why the Lord had allowed her to experience barrenness, but there were some things she did know.
- She knew that God had the power to change her situation.
- She also knew that in prayer she would find refuge and comfort.
When God gave Hannah the son whom she fervently prayed for, she gave him the name ‘Samuel’, which means ‘heard by God’. If we want to be heard, we must first ask.
I know the Lord may not deal with us as He did with Hannah, but Hannah dealt with Him as we should. He may not remove the trial from us any more than He removed the trial that Paul pleaded with the Lord to take away from him. But if God decides to leave the trial, we can rest in the words of Jesus He spoke to Paul,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
When the trials, disappointments and unfulfilled longings come, we must go to God in prayer. Tell Him how deeply it hurts and ask Him either to remove it or to give you the grace to bear it. God wants us to trust Him when we can’t see what He’s doing.
Hannah discovered through her trial that God had a far greater purpose in mind. Samuel was given to the Lord to lead a sinful nation back to Himself. And God gave Hannah more than she ever imagined for she had three more sons and two daughters.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to accept that God does all things well when we are in the midst of a painful trial. Given your situation you might feel Romans 8:28 may have been true for Hannah, but you don’t believe it for yourself. I know I have thought on more than one occasion this verse did not apply to me.
Just as God did for Hannah, He is able to do exceedingly more for us than we could ever ask or imagine.
He is the Master Weaver, and when we can’t see a way, He is busy weaving the strands of every trial into a beautiful tapestry. A tapestry that has each of us woven into His good and glorious plan.
Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.