Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I’ve Learned from Hannah’s Story

I recently read Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2, and God revealed to me that I don’t need more faith, but a STRONGER faith in Him. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) states that “faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”  And, I must admit, at times I’m not so confident in God’s ability to completely heal me of infertility, and be able to conceive my second predestined miracle (baby) naturally. In true transparency- I have moments where my faith is weaken by things that I see, and experience in the natural.  So, I have to be intentional about feeding and strengthening my faith with the word of God; hence, my most recent reading of Hannah’s story.  You see, Hannah was one of the two wives to Elkanah.  He also had a wife named Peninnah.  Peninnah had children with Elkanah, while Hannah was childless.  Penninah would provoke Hannah to tears.  In other words, she would anger and negatively stir up Hannah’s emotions because she was infertile/barren.  Peninnah would constantly remind Hannah of what her body couldn’t do and of her childlessness, because she had children. 
Don’t we too experience this same thing in our lives?  We’re trying to believe God for healing, to conceive, for a healthy baby to be discharged and brought home from the NICU, but Peninnah, “aka”: infertility, pcos, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, prematurity etcetera, is staring us in our face and constantly reminding us of our condition, our diagnosis, and our situation.  However, during those times we have to be like Hannah.  She went to God; to be in His presence, and prayed.  She talked to God about her deepest longing for a child, specifically a son.  She was in great anguish-distress, grief, heartache, and sorrow.  Hannah was heartbroken because she was in a low place spiritually and naturally-spiritually because she felt God had forgotten about her, and naturally because during that time to not be a mother was frowned upon.  So, Hannah went to the temple and sat at the feet of God, and prayed.  She poured her soul out to God in prayer.  She prayed to God in FAITH, and asked Him for not just a child, but a son who she would vow to give back to Him to be His servant.  1 Samuel 1: 11 says, “she made a vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death.  He shall not drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”
After praying silently and crying out to God, Hannah got up, ate food with her husband Elkanah, and was no longer sad.  I’m sure that at this point, Hannah felt lighter, confident, and reassured in her spirit and in the God that she poured out to in prayer.  Sisters, she was no longer sad because she made an exchange.  She exchanged her hopelessness, sadness, shame, anger, hurt, and barrenness for FAITH!  She made a decision to leave it all at the feet of God, and let her faith rise.  She believed what she prayed for would come to pass-she would have a male child.  She was just that confident in God, thus in my mind silencing Peninnah’s voice that had been in her ear torturing her all those years.  Fertility sisters, we have to do the same.  We have to take our broken hearts and spirits, present them to God in prayer, and have faith that he’s going to bless our womb with our predestined one (baby)!  Preemie sisters, we have to go to Him in prayer about your preemie’s condition while in the NICU and beyond.  Pour out to Him your fears, worries, needs, doubts, and then let Him fill you with strength and faith like only He can give. We have to silence the Peninnah (pessimistic voice of infertility and prematurity).  Hannah prayed, (1 Samuel chapter 2), and during her prayer it was as if she was reminding herself of who her great God was, as stated in 1 Samuel 2:2- “ there is no Holy One like the Lord, no one beside you, there is no Rock like our God.”  She prayed a prayer that reminded herself of God’s nature, and who He truly is.  We have to do the same by going to Him, and praying in such a way that reminds our spirit of who God is…that reminds our spirit of what He’s already done in our lives!
Needless to say, God answered Hannah’s prayer (1 Samuel 1: 27-28).  She had a son and named him Samuel meaning “asked or heard of God.” She gave him back to God as she’d vowed.  And get THIS, not only did she have Samuel, but she went on to later have 3 more sons, and 2 daughters!  God is such a God of abundant blessings! He gave her more children; more than what she asked for, or even expected. 
So, here’s my question for us:
Infertility and prematurity of birth is our Peninnah that’s angering us, and reminding us of what we don’t have and telling us that we won’t be a mother, or that our baby won’t make it home from the NICU.  How will you silence that pessimistic voice of Penninah?  How will you silence her?
I’ll tell you: FAITH, AND PRAYER!!!
Hannah went to war and fought through prayer and had faith that her prayers were not only heard, but that God would answer.  She walked away with so much faith that she finished her praying, and went to get something to eat.  If that doesn’t show confidence in God! She was unbothered at that point!
Therefore, here is my takeaway from Hannah’s story:
1)      Don’t listen to the voice of pessimistic Peninnah (infertility/ prematurity)! It may try to provoke you, depress you, make you bitter, and angry, but DON’T listen.
2)      Do like Hannah and cry out to God! Pour out our soul (mind, will, & emotions) to Him.  Remind yourself of who God is during your prayer time.
3)      Believe and have faith that what you are praying and asking for He’ll do!
4)      After praying, no longer be sad, but be GODFIDENT (God confident)!
5)      Repeat as needed!
I love you all!
I’m praying for you!

Tiffany Finley

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