The Peace of Hannah

Written by Julie

On June 24, 2023

Coming alive again means feeling the joy, but it also means feeling the grief. I’m still drowning in the tidal wave of God’s goodness and grace, but a tidal wave of grief and fear has also swept over me, and the waters are so mingled that I scarce can catch my breath from either. And it may sound poetically beautiful, but most of the time it doesn’t feel that way.

I keep coming back to the story of Hannah. It’s been a story I’ve loved for a long time, but I’ve been loving it even more these past six weeks. It was shared in the devotional at church on Mother’s Day, and I realized something that’s been stuck in my mind since, something that’s become my prayer for different people–and for myself.

The story in 1 Samuel 1 is probably familiar to all of us. We know about her grief and longing for a child–specifically a son, about how they came to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, about her prayer, about her conversation with Eli, and we know later she does have a son–Samuel, the child she prayed for–and dedicates him to the Lord to serve Him in His house.

The realization I had comes about in the middle of that, after her prayer but before her prayer is answered.

First off, she came to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. I usually think of Shiloh as meaning peace, but it means more than that. Ask Strong’s Concordance, and it means tranquil and secure and is a title referring to the Messiah. Ask Google, and it means tranquil, abundance, and His gift, and is a Messianic title meaning “He whose it is” or “He who is to be sent.”

Second off, after her prayer and Eli’s accusation about her being drunk and her response that she was crying out to God,

Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

1 Samuel 1:17-18 (KJV)

Eli tells her to go in peace, and – and she does! She leaves and eats and “was no more sad.”

And we know the end of the story. We know her hopes and prayers are answered, we know she has a child, and maybe you don’t know this but 1 Samuel 2:21 tells us that Hannah has three more sons and two daughters–the barren woman had six children.

But Hannah didn’t know any of that. She was never even exactly promised a child!

But she came to the place of peace–found peace even though she hadn’t fully had her prayer answered yet, hadn’t yet seen the fulfillment of her hopes.

And I think it was because she found her peace in the God of the promise and not in the promise itself. Again, she hadn’t even exactly been promised a child!

She found peace, tranquility, security, abundance, His gift–but above all that, she found Him.

And that’s been my prayer these last several weeks.

For the prodigals and the drifting (and their families) that I love.

For the young mother who took an emergency trip to the hospital (she’s okay now).

For a friend and her family whose grandma/mom died.

For two friends facing some fairly big changes and decisions in their lives.

For a friend who recently had a minor seizure and they don’t know why yet.

For the two families trying to start a church plant and all the changes/fears/griefs that brings.

For the people I know dealing with infertility and miscarriages.

For M and A and the kids.

For M and family and T and family.

For myself, as I deal with these situations and so many others, as I face change and uncertainty in my own life, as I realize more and more how fearful and unrestful I am. . .

I am praying that we would be like Hannah. Regardless of the situation, regardless of the answer, I am praying that we would come to Shiloh.

I am praying that we would come into the house/presence of the Lord and pour our hearts out before Him.

I am praying that we would go in peace, that we would find that tranquil rest and trust.

I am praying that we would find our security and identity in Christ–in who He is and what He’s done and whom He has made us to be. I am praying that our dreams would not become our idols, that we would put our hope in Christ and not in answers.

I am praying that we would find abundance–that we would both receive and give so generously and lavishly.

I am praying that we would find His gift, whether that’s the gift we want (a child, the prodigal to come home, etc.) or different gifts, including the ones that can’t quite be seen (growth, understanding, patience, faith, etc.).

I am praying, above all, that we would find Him. Because He’s all that matters. He is the All in All, the Satisfaction, the Contentment, the Everything. He is enoughmore than enough.

Even in all these situations. Even though it hurts. Even if I never see them resolved the way I want/think they should be.

He still is.

He is Shiloh, and I am (trying to be) Hannah.

📷: Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

		
Julie

Julie

Hi, I'm Julie, a 18-year-old lover of books, music, and Jesus. I'm a senior in high school (Abeka Academy) and have been blogging for three years. I also co-publish a digital magazine called Priceless geared toward teen girls. My desire is to use my words to glorify my Saviour and to encourage you in your walk with God. I'd love to hear from you!

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