Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hope for the Hopeless

Have you ever been in a difficult position? Of course you have, but have you ever been in such a difficult, hopeless position that your heart ached?

I think that is where we find Hannah after years of humiliation and failure brought her and her aching heart to the temple whether in faith or simply in desperation we will never know.

A little background might help us understand Hannah’s heart.

You see, Hannah was one of two women that her husband had taken for a wife. As difficult as this might be ordinarily, the situation that had arisen within this family was that one woman had children but the other, you guessed it, Hannah did not. Well you can’t hide a problem like that for very long. There can be no doubt as to who has the problem.

The matter was complicated by the person that scripture calls Hannah’s rival. The woman who had children "bitterly provoked" Hannah to irritate her.

The situation had become so serious that her husband, who and done various things to show his support and love for Hannah, cries out in frustration 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?"

I sure that none of us have ever been where Hannah found herself at this point. There is a point where the hurt can not hurt anymore, where one just mentally "throws up his hands" or "throws in the towel"
Scripture tells us that Hannah, was "greatly distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly".

After some interaction with the priest regarding her actions Hannah explained, "I poured out my soul before the Lord".

There are times when we stand strong in the strength of the Lord and we pray with boldness and confidence. There are these other times which seem somehow less valuable; less faithful.

We easily comprehend and admire the faith of a prayer offered by someone who prays like he knows personally the One to whom he talks. To pray with someone who prays expectantly is a wonderful experience. These opportunities are easy and welcome and wonderful.

There are things that we should not miss about the faith of the Hannah type of prayers.

There exists in a believer a level of faith that is buoyed by our convictions, by our experiences or by our commitments. There is yet another level of faith that we find when everything is stripped away and all we find left is the core of one’s being. The times when all pretensions, all suppositions, absolutely everything but one’s existence is let go, a level of faith remains.

This faith is what lies at the very core.

Jesus has written that core faith in the recesses of our hearts (Hebrews 12:2). It will never fail us nor will it ever desert us. It is the direct connection to Him.

( the story of Hannah is found in the book of I Samuel chapter 1)

1 comment:

j said...

Yes-those types of prayers and heart cries, the ones that aren't pretty and they are not for public but for God alone, God hears those, I know. A prodigal daughter caused me to go from "knowing how to pray" to really really knowing how to get ahold of heaven.

In the most broken and contrite place of anguish, He is near.