God Remembers

One of the most beautiful things about God is how He takes some of the most painful situations and turns them into an opportunity to show His goodness, compassion, and mercy. Case in point is Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. The Bible says that the Lord had closed her womb so that she could not bear any children, which in the Hebrew culture was a tremendous disgrace. Her husband’s other wife taunted her while her own husband did not understand in the least the depth of her pain and anguish. 
I can only imagine the pain a woman goes through that wants to have children but cannot. Add to that a husband that really doesn’t get it, another wife who taunts you all the time, and you have a truly tragic situation. What I love about this story, however, is that Hannah takes her situation to the Lord.

10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.

In the midst of all her pain, Hannah knew that the Temple and the Presence of the Lord was the place to go. She cried out to God from her deep hurt and wept. Eli the priest thought she was drunk, so Hannah explained her actions to him:

15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

That one phrase says it all – she poured out her heart. When we’re in pain, in distress, in anguish, feeling resentment, it’s the only right thing to do. How often do we not let our pain sit and fester, hold it inside, try to make it go away, or even feel guilty for it? Even under the old covenant, Hannah understood she could pour out all her heart to the Lord, tell Him her troubles, and He would listen. And the most beautiful thing in all of this is that God truly does listen. He is attentive to the cry of the humble and lowly and remembers Hannah.

19 Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.

God doesn’t forget our cries, our nights of weeping, or the anguish and resentment we’ve poured out to Him. He remembers. ‘Beautiful’ is the only word that comes to mind when I consider the depth of Hannah’s suffering, the way she pours her all out to God, and the compassion that God shows her. What a God we have that hears us when we cry and answers us when we pour out our hearts to Him! How else can we respond but to sing with Hannah and give God the highest praise for who He is and what He has done for us?

1 My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is lifted up by the Lord.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 There is no one holy like the Lord.
There is no one besides You!
And there is no rock like our God.

8 He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
He has set the world on them.

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