The world hungers for new super heroes, and Moms are often overlooked in the search. Mom is faster than a naked toddler who flees the bathtub to spread soap suds over half the house, and she’s more powerful than a mountain of untamed laundry. Mom navigates a double-booked schedule as she manages an endless stream of doctor visits, taxi runs, and school functions. Her super powers include magic saliva that removes with a single swipe the chocolate dribbles on a white sweater or her child’s face. Only Mom starts with the last hamburger from the freezer, mixes it with other ingredients, and creates a healthy meal for a family of four in under fifteen minutes. Her frenetic pace would leave mere humans begging for relief, yet even a super mom can be leveled by the kryptonite of discouragement as she ponders the relentless grind of motherhood.
Hannah desired above all else to be a mother, but she could not have children. Elkanah’s love and devotion were certain, but his solution to acquiring a family, a plan lacking God’s approval, created problems. Peninnah delivered sons and daughters, but the family extension cost Hannah dearly and came at the expense of peace in the home. Peninnah is labeled as Hannah’s rival painting an accurate portrait of Hannah’s daily life.
Hannah never surrendered to the difficult circumstances, and her story, which has a happy ending in Samuel’s birth and journey to manhood, offers encouragement to today’s super moms. Hannah demonstrated the unwavering focus motherhood requires as well as the spiritual awareness the role demands. She walked with God.
Hannah’s life struggles required prayer.
Hannah’s heartache led her to seek comfort from the One who cares. 1 Samuel 1:10 states, “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” Raw emotion in God’s presence does not offend Him. He invites His people to pray in that manner in Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Hannah’s prayer was not of the “now I lay me down to sleep” variety. Her soul-wrenching cry of anguish spilled out her pain, her disappointment, her unfulfilled desires, and her need for wisdom that only God can give. Prayer is some of the hardest work a mom will ever undertake.
Hannah understood her dependence on God.
Hannah ached to hold a child of her own, and no solution existed on the physical plane. Motherhood sometimes includes unsolvable challenges, and super moms do their part but remember to lean on God’s power. Hannah’s prayer brought her before the only Hope in 1 Samuel 1:11, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant…”
Hannah left her burdens with God.
Hannah’s demeanor as she exited the temple is described in 1 Samuel 1:18, “…Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.” Joy, not sorrow, filled her heart. Had her circumstances changed? No. Peninnah still waited to provoke her. Peter explained the difference in 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Hannah tossed the burden of childlessness, the pain of her rival’s taunting, and her unresolved hope into God’s capable hands. Leaving a burden with God as Hannah did is not the same as praying then taking the burden back when prayer time ends.
Hannah worshiped God.
Worship is easy when God delivers on the request. Faith demands living with a winsome attitude even when He delays an answer or denies a request. Would Hannah hold a child of her own? She entrusted the matter to God. Her faith shines in these words from 1 Samuel 1:19, “Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord.”
Hannah dedicated her child to God.
Hannah named her son, Samuel, or “heard by God”, a constant reminder of God’s grace in answering her prayer. Could God now be trusted to do right with Samuel’s life? Hannah believed the child belonged to God. Dedicating the boy to temple service meant she would see her son once a year. She acted on her confidence that God had a purpose for Samuel and would use the child in a mighty way. And did He ever!