But Peninnah made fun of Hannah because the LORD had closed her womb. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Hannah would finally be reduced to tears and would not even eat. - 1 Samuel 1:6-7
Hannah had a Peninnah problem—a person in her life who, year after year, taunted her about her childlessness. This would go on until Hannah would be “reduced to tears and would not even eat” (1 Samuel 1:7). It’s no fun to have your life intricately bound with a Peninnah-type person. Perhaps you, too, have such a problem. Maybe you have to put up with someone in your family who provokes you relentlessly, taunting you with cruel words.
Hannah did the wisest thing. First, she prayed (1 Samuel 1:9). She went to the Tabernacle and poured out her heart to the Lord. She laid her load of heaviness down and returned to her family a different woman. She was “no longer sad” (1 Samuel 1:18). Oh, if we could so easily let all the dark nights of our soul be dealt with in such a manner!
Not only had Hannah prayed for a child, she had also promised the child to God’s service “for his entire lifetime” (1 Samuel 1:11). When God gave Hannah a son, she kept her word, testifying, “My heart rejoices in the Lord! Oh, how the Lord has blessed me!” (1 Samuel 2:1). Her heart rejoiced first in the Lord, not in her beloved husband or her precious son.
Prayer, trust, and worship will help you deal with your Peninnah problem—no matter how hard it is for you. Give your burden to the Lord, and don’t pick it up again. Let him dry your tears and give you back your joy.
For Further Study: 1 Samuel 1:1-28
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.
Renew your spirit for the year ahead!