3 Lessons Hannah Teaches Us about Persevering in Parenthood
by Kia Stephens
"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him." -1 Samuel 1:27
Raising kids is unpredictable. We never know who will break a bone or a vase, stick something up their nose, or make a really costly decision. And it's our motherly and fatherly instinct that wants to swoop down on eagles wings and solve every problem, but we can’t.
I imagine you are either in one or headed to it. Maybe you find yourself struggling to balance work and home. Maybe you are finding it tough to discipline a terrific two-year-old. You may even find yourself dealing with some far weightier woes.
A terminal Illness
A rebellious child
If you feel powerless as a mom or dad, I’d like to offer you 3 things to remember when you are spending time in the trenches.
#1 Cry Out To God
“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.” 1 Samuel 1:10 (NIV)
Hannah began her powerless season of motherhood with infertility. Before she ever knew the challenges that come with being a mother, she questioned if she’d ever become one. And she had nothing else to rely on but God. She poured her heart out to Him and He answered.
And it wasn’t immediate, because Scripture tells us that Hannah had been childless for years (vs. 7). She endured a lengthy season of hopelessness while shouldering the taunts of her rival Peninnah. Day after day, she had no knowledge of when or if her pain would end.
We, like Hannah, must pursue God when we feel powerless. God is no respecter of persons; He will hear our prayer too. In His own time and way, He will answer.
#2 Trust in His Sovereignty
“...and the Lord had closed her womb.” 1 Samuel 1:5b (NIV)
Hannah knew God had the power to open her womb but didn’t. And yet in her despair she continued to trust in Him. Though she could have turned away she chose to move towards God in prayer.
When we feel powerless we must trust in God who has all power. He has a plan for our painful circumstances; He always does. What He allows in our life is calculated and pregnant with purpose.
If you are in a difficult parenting season, know that God sees you. Every tear, unspoken worry, and sleepless night has not gone unnoticed by Him. Believe against all doubt “. . .That in all things God is working for your (ultimate) good.” Romans 8: 28 (NIV)
#3 Look for God’s Goodness
“But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her,” 1 Samuel 1:5a (NIV)
Even in Hannah’s suffering she was favored. God gave her a loving husband who expressed His care for her through words of affirmation and gifts. And although she had what her rival lacked, it wasn’t enough to lift her spirits.
Pain often makes it difficult to see the good in our lives, but in every season it is there. When we purpose to see it we will discover just how much goodness persist in the midst of our pain.
We, unlike Hannah, cannot allow ourselves to be blinded by grief. God’s blessings are abundant, whether we recognize them or not. If you feel powerless as a parent, know that God’s love and care is lavishly poured out on our behalf when we need it most.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
This devotional was taken in part from Kia Stephens' 3 Things to Remember When You Feel Like a Powerless Mom. You can read that article in full here.