Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Manger for Hannah's Drunken Cries.

For a while I have been studying the barren Hannah of 1 Samuel 1 as if it were a story to teach me to be faithful in order to receive God’s blessing. I sometimes thought that if I could pray like Hannah, perhaps God would listen. Maybe I just need to abandon all my pride and pray shamelessly like I’m drunk, and then God will know that I mean business about the things I am praying for. Or maybe, if I promise him my firstborn child He will grant me those desires of my heart. 
Recently I found that Hannah’s story has proven to be a comfort to a dear friend who has experienced two miscarriages in a very short timeframe. This made me think that perhaps it isn’t as much about “me” and my prayers, but us, and our story. I realized that there is beauty when the same story can comfort two women in two very different positions in life. We are both drawn into the same story as we are both drawn into the same cross and as we both have the same story of Salvation. The story of Hannah began to draw more color and meaning when understood as a promise and not a formula. 

If God fills the hungry with good things, how much more strength will he and has he shown with his arm to the barren like Hannah? It may be that the barren may remain barren in this life, but God filled a manger so that the fruits of his salvation might be made known throughout all generations. We bear a promise of salvation and a common story there in. We share in the story of Hannah, Sari, Leah, Rebecca, and Mary even if our prayers for children aren’t granted. While Christ is our ultimate source of healing, life and salvation, we find comfort in these stories knowing that even with an ultimate plan, God still blessed the lives of these women. He was still mindful of them, just as He is with us. So it is in these stories of bareness where we learn to look more to Christ and less to the individual. We then live more with the perspective of drawing close to the cross of Christ and to the manger that Christ entered to fill every void in our lives.  

1 Samuel 1:12-14New King James Version (NKJV

And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.  So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!

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