Six Lessons Hannah Taught Me

No matter how many times I study Hannah’s life over the years (1 Samuel 1 to 2 v 1-11 and 18-26), it always inspires me. Here is what I learned:

1) Take Your Desires and Problems to God

Hannah wanted a child badly. She craved, yearned…deeply wanted a baby. We learn in 1 Samuel 1 that this took a toll on her emotionally and physically to the point “she was in bitterness of soul…and wept sore” (10). She also confessed to being, “a woman of sorrowful spirit” (15) and described herself as being in “grief” (16). Interestingly, it was GOD who, “shut up her womb” (5). What exacerbated the matter, was that her husband’s other wife – who had children – provoked her to the point she did not eat and wept sorely. She considered being barren as “an affliction” (11).  Here we read descriptors that give vivid imagery of how deeply she desired a child! In fact, she “poured out (her) soul before the Lord” (15). She took it to the Lord in prayer. You too ought to take everything to God in prayer.

2) Be Specific with Requests

Hannah was quite bold to the point, she struck a bargain with God, in my opinion. She negotiated: You give me a male child and I will give him back to serve you all of his days. 

Honestly, I do not bargain with God, but I do admire how specific she was with her request for a son. I do believe because God already knows our hearts anyhow, as Christians, we can boldly approach His throne of grace, letting our requests be known unto Him, as encouraged by Paul. Be specific.

3) Believe the Word God has Given You

The priest, Eli, thought Hannah was drunk while in the temple as her lips were moving, but her words were not audible. However, Hannah shared that she was grieved and presenting her petition to God.

Eli told her, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him” (17). 

This so pleased Hannah, she ate and her countenance changed.

Clearly, she believed the word of the priest; how much more should we take God at His Word? He will do what He said He will do! Hallelujah!!

4) Worship While You Wait

Hannah and her husband rose early the next day and worshipped the Lord. THEN, when they returned to their house, she and her husband were intimate and “the Lord remembered her” (19).

I love the fact that she had such faith in the word of the priest – whose word was ultimately from God – that she worshipped even before there was physical evidence of conception. She believed and acted upon that belief.

I encourage you to worship God in faith, as you wait for the promise, whether the promise of that baby, the promise of your husband, your wife, that house, job…the promise of God opening that door for you…the promise of healing.

I once read that the posture of holding our hands out to the Lord while we wait for what we desire, is the same posture of worship. Worship while you wait.

5) Pay Your Vows 

Solomon tells us, it is better to NOT vow than to vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5 v 5). Whenever we vow, we MUST keep our end of it, whether vows made on our wedding day or a vow to God Almighty. 

Hannah kept her vow to God. When her son, Samuel was weaned, she took him to the temple to serve the Lord with Eli, seemingly only seeing him once a year when she and her husband visited to offer the yearly sacrifice.

6) God does the Exceeding Abundantly

Hannah requested ONE son, but I believe because of her faith AND her faithfulness, God honoured her. He opened the flood gates of heaven and poured out a blessing upon Hannah, giving her THREE more sons and TWO daughters.  LOOKA GOD!!!! (one of my FAVOURITE sayings!) He showed up and showed out! The exceeding abundantly above what we can ever ask or think GOD!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Isn’t it beautiful when we can receive so many lessons from one story in God’s Word??!! Remember, the God of Hannah, is the SAME God yesterday…today…forever!!!!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah


How’s Your Spiritual Hygiene?

I find it a pleasure when I read God’s Word and see how I could take what occurred millennia ago and apply it to my life. One example of this came about as I read in Daniel 1 last night. Verse eight stood out to me: “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

Daniel spoke about not defiling himself with the king’s meat, but as Christians, there might be ways we are defiling ourselves too. And when we are spiritually defiled, the scent is not pleasure. Jesus, the Son of the Almighty God above, said himself in Matthew 15 v 17-20:

17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Now this is in no way to say that we must not wash our hands before we eat; it simply means that it has nothing to do with our spirits being defiled. Now for the Christian, there are some things that we would partake in, but without speaking, you can hate someone; you may want that Marc Jacobs bag your colleague has, simply because you want to keep up with the style of other ladies in the office; without speaking, you can covet someone’s house or position; without going through with it, you can actually desire to be with someone else’s husband or wife or you might be married and fantasizing about the neighbour, a colleague, a deacon. Interestingly, Jesus said in Matthew 5 v. 28, “That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” This, itself, is proof that we become defiled from within our spirits.

Have you entertained gossip lately? Have you been judgmental – not knowing all the facts? Perhaps in your heart you know you are upset with someone and are finding ways to avoid the person as opposed to addressing the matter (I’ve been there, but had to repent to God and eventually say to the person how I felt). Maybe it’s those worldly movies you are watching, which are not spiritually enlightening.

These things and others shackle us spiritually. They tear at us and we become spiritually weak. This is just what the enemy wants.

I implore you not to eat the enemy’s dainties. Do not entertain him. Do not sit at his table. Like Daniel, we must purpose in our hearts to not defile ourselves. And we can only do that if we know what the Word says; we ought not simply be hearers of the Word, but doers.

How can you cleanse your ways from spiritual defilement? David says in Psalm 119 v 9: “…by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Time to Declutter!

At the end of July, I stripped my office of the dozens of newspapers taped to its walls. 

I have been working in that office for six years and the newspaper clippings were among the multiple articles I wrote and photos I took, which were published in newspapers about my place of employment.

I remember when I first walked into the office six years ago and it just seemed bare and quite frankly drab. My office looked different from the boardroom. I needed inspiration. Those clippings, taped to those walls, became my inspiration. Those newspaper articles were cheering me on – further evidence of my God-given talent as a writer.

Over the past two to three years, I ran out of space and started posting the newspaper articles and photos – which were sometimes half or full page spreads – outside my office, on the corridor’s walls. I just took over! When I finally got an assistant, she followed suit and joined the paste-it-to-the-wall party!


One day, I decided I had enough. It took two-and-a-half hours to strip the walls of my office bare.

When done, my office space was in need of a splash of paint, but even with that reality, there was something refreshing about the clippings no longer being there. And guess what else? When I spoke, it felt as though my voice was bouncing off the walls. I literally heard myself clearer. 

I had decluttered.

I’ve dumped those old, now yellow clippings in the garbage (I do however have black and white copies filed away over the years). I got a new paint job by the Maintenance department – even a new colour, which I LOVE! The only things I’ve since hung on my walls are two paintings (I love art!). Nothing else will hang from those walls. I now have a chic, clean-cut, simple, refreshing look.

Do you need to declutter? Do you need to strip the walls of your life of anything? Marathon Lifetime movies, empty, vain chatter, certain friends…habits (maybe gossiping, being coveteous, judgmental etc.)? What needs to come down? What needs to be ripped down?! Are some things in your life drowning you – muffling your voice? Do you need a new paint job? 

God is waiting to help you declutter your life through His precious Son, Jesus Christ, who died on a cruel cross in our place. He is waiting with open arms to help. He’s just a prayer away.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. ~ Romans 8 v 37.

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah