By J.A. Medders
There is no one like our God. His character is revealed to us in many forms, from the awe-inducing thunder atop Mount Sinai, to the gentle comfort He brings as He hears our prayers. He is compassionate and remains close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18), and He is also holy, though not as a distant and standoffish deity. Yes, there is a complete otherness to our God, because there is no like Him. No one cares for the brokenhearted—the dejected, the disappointed, the distraught—like Him.
Hannah’s life is brutal. Her husband’s heart and life and bed are divided. She doesn’t have all of him. Imagine how crushing this must have been for her. Add barrenness and bullying to the picture and you can see why Hannah’s spirit and appetite were crushed. But the good news for Hannah is that there is a God who listens, and He is full of power, able to answer our prayers. No one is a rock for sinking souls like our God.
If you’ve never walked through a deep and dark valley, just wait—everyone does at some point (John 16:33). That’s life in a broken world. Doubt grows. Old fears and frustrations push to take up room in our hearts and minds. Suffering invades. I’ve been there, and have learned that there is only one way to keep going. To trust God with our hearts. To believe that, as Hannah prayed, “He guards the steps of his faithful ones” (1 Samuel 2:9). He’s got His people in His hands.
Hannah asked God for a son, promising to give him back to the glory and purposes of God. She vowed to give back the one thing she desired most in this world. Whether she ate, drank, or had a son, it was going to be to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Is that your mode of operation? Your desires and your longings in this life—do they begin and end with you, or do they crest to the cause of our risen Christ? Hannah’s motives were pure. James tell us, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Hannah wanted to spend her request toward the fame of God’s name because she believed there is none like Him. This wasn’t just something she knew to be true. It’s a belief she lived out, regardless of her circumstances. Hannah trusted God with her heart’s deepest longings, and she learned to rejoice in Him always and in all things (Philippians 4:4–7).
Written by J.A. Medders