God has me studying Hannah. I've been studying her for a while now and there are some conclusions that I've made. The first is that Hannah was a BOSS!!! No disrespect. Here's why I say that.
I Samuel 1:611: "6 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” 9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head. 12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” 15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Rule #1: Shut down your haters by not empowering them. Here she is in anguish, being teased mercilessly, and she doesn't respond to her tormentor nor to anyone else. What does she do? She pours out all of her desires, her anguish, her hopes onto God. That's a BOSS move. Hannah doesn't give Peninnah (her husband's second wife) any power. She doesn't acknowledge her actions or her words. So often, we think that if we respond to comments that we can silence the foolishness. But, watch what Hannah did. She didn't respond to Peninnah. She went to God.
Rule #2: Even when people are gassing you up, don't believe the hype. Hannah's husband, Elkanah, wanted her to be happy. The Word says he loved her. What wonderful traits for a husband: to love your wife and want her to be happy. However, Hannah had a desire in her heart. His questioning of her was an attempt to ease her burden. It didn't. When you have something that you want earnestly, according to the Will of God, then don't settle for less. Her desire was to be a mother. This is the desire that she poured out to God.
Rule #3: There is nothing wrong with asking for what you want. Don't ever let anyone shame you into not asking of God for the promises of God. Hannah asked God to remember her. Listen, it's not that God doesn't know us. But, there are times when you have to go after the blessing. If you stand and wait for it to fall like manna out of the sky, it will never come.
Rule #4: Not all irritation is bad for you. Pastor Jenkins (City of Refuge, Manassas, VA) use to say "when you get tired of being sick and tired....". Hannah was tired of being sick and tired year after year. Of waiting on a blessing that belonged to her. So she went after it. She didn't give her husband a handmaiden. She didn't try and make the blessing happen on her own. She went to the source. When you get tired of being sick and tired, go to the source from which all blessings flow.
Rule #5: Recognize that not all people will see and understand your anguish. Eli was the high priest yet he didn't recognize Hannah's pain. Not all people will see your pain and understand it. That's okay. They aren't meant to. Not all people can walk with you along your journey. That's okay. They aren't meant to. Hannah had to explain to the man of God what was truly happening with her. Once he understood this, he released the blessing onto her. This is where you have to discern whom is to be apart of your world and who is not. There will be people around you that won't understand the who, what, when, why, and how of it all. Whether you explain it to them or not, depends on you. Caution: always ask God what to do. Some people are only there to block your blessing while others are there to encourage and push you. If you can't discern the difference, then keep your mouth shut until God shows you their true colors.
Because of her faithfulness, God remembered Hannah more than once. "I Samuel 2:21 And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters....". When you decide that your emeries have no power and turn over your anguish and pain to God, you allow Him to take the reins. And, let me tell you, there is no telling what God will do when He has total control. Some years ago, I remember having a conversation with God that I needed a vacation. Time away. Low and behold, within 24 hours, my friend called and asked me to go to with her and a group of friends to her sister's beach house. I had no expenses to pay outside of whatever I purchased and the groceries we put in the house. Won't He do it???? YES, HE WILL!!! The only thing blocking your blessings is you.
Be A Blessing and NOT Just Blessed
- - Nakya