Breakdown or Breakthrough?
I was reading with my kids last night, and something beautiful jumped out at me from very familiar verses. Don't you love how the Lord can do that? I ask you to take a look at Hannah with me in 1 Samuel chapter 1.
It is a heart-wrenching chapter to read, coming from this mom's perspective. Not only could Hannah not have children, but she was faced daily with a rival wife to her husband who had multiple children. And this was no silent rival...she "provoked her severely." Talk about adding insult to injury.
Getting to what jumped out at me to isolate and talk about with my kids - and to concentrate on putting into practice myself - Hannah's prayer and conversation with Eli the priest. The desperation of Hannah's prayer is a very familiar story...her silent cry, her vow to the Lord, and how Eli thought she was drunk. But take a look deeper with me.
At no point did Hannah hear a specific Word from the Lord concerning her situation - at least not that we read. Eli didn't say, "Thus says the Lord..." Neither did a prophet approach her confirming that her prayer had been heard. However, after Eli spoke a statement of agreement over her, there was a change in her.
"Then Eli answered and said, 'Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.' And she said, 'Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.' So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad."
She didn't yet have the answer. She didn't yet feel a baby kick. But she had a breakthrough.
There is a point in prayer when you know there is a shift in your faith. You may not sense what the answer is or when it is coming, but you have that "I know He heard me" moment. You rise from spending time with the Lord, and there is a peace that passes understanding saturating you. No matter what happens next, you broke through...and you know it's gonna be alright.
I challenge you to concentrate on praying till you break through - not only in times of desperation, but every single day. Pray till your faith has risen above your circumstances, and then you can rise and face the day with a new attitude.
Father, I don't want to wait until I see the answer before I choose to believe that You have heard me. Let faith arise in us today. I believe that You hear me, and You will answer in Your way in Your time. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
1 Samuel 1:8-18