A Wisdom Retreat - July 28

Go to God

1 Samuel 1:10 
She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

If man had written the Bible without God's inspiration, he would have placed the people found there on pedestals and edited the script to remove all of their mistakes, sins, and failures.  But God, the Master Artist, paints the heroes of the Bible with realistic brush strokes.  

God records the whole story of these men and women—"warts" and all; He records their triumphs and also their tears.  There are no perfect people parading across the pages of Scripture—there are real people with real problems.

There was an article in Newsweek written by a woman who had been the editor for a publisher producing self-help books.  She wrote:

You might expect that people who work for authors and bosses of such a company would, in general, be terribly well-adjusted folks—on a first name basis with all their feelings; bursting with self-esteem; free of type-A stress, phobias, and anxieties.  Think again.  The bosses are even now beginning construction on a second story for our building because the office manager and the head of typesetting cannot stand working in the same room together.  One of the executive staff routinely gets so upset during phone calls that he falls out of his chair onto the floor. 

Two in-house authors of a book on stress are on the verge of suing each other. Our best-selling book on phobias and fears is lacking an author cover photo because—you guessed it—the author has a phobia about having his picture taken!

This is true not only in the secular world but in the sacred world as well.  We are all made of clay!  If anyone ever gives you the impression that he has it all together, you need to look again . . . or just quit looking.

Hannah was unable to have children; she also suffered the indignity of the mocking of her husband's other wife Peninnah, who was able to bear children.  This added insult to injury!  It would be unbiblical to say that Hannah, this great woman of faith, was not affected by this situation—she was miserable.

I Samuel 1:8-9 says, "Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?' Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD."     

And here comes Hannah's flood of tears!

You may have had times like this: tears bathing your cheeks and washing your soul. But the wonderful thing in verse 10 is that Hannah poured out her soul to the Lord. She went to Him, not away from Him, in the time of her deepest sorrow.

Your heartaches are God's concern; your burdens are His to bear for you.  You can take comfort in the knowledge that "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you," your heart will be eased (1 Peter 5:7).  "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Never forget that God is your greatest source of help; of strength; of comfort; of refuge.     

What is it in your life that causes great distress?  What causes you to weep bitterly?  Whatever  the  reason,  follow Hannah's example . . . go to God.

Prayer Point: Take time to pray to God, using real words about real things. Don't just utter the spiritual words that you think you should say—talk to your heavenly Father about your struggles; your feelings; your desires; your failures. Ask Him to help you trust His provision for your need.

Extra Refreshment:  Read Hannah's prayer of exaltation in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, expressing her understanding of God's power.

31 Day Journal with John

Jesus Christ is the beginning and end of all Scripture, but nowhere is that more emphatically seen than in John’s inspired journal. In just the opening lines, John announces that Christ is God incarnate and the Creator of all things. In his final lines, he announces that all the books in the world couldn’t contain the marvelous things Jesus said and did! Take this 31-day journey with me through John’s personal, eye-witness account and stand amazed once again at the greatness of our Savior.

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