Hannah was Samuel’s mother and what is shared about her life in Scripture is a rather small amount. However, that small amount is overflowing with the beauty, grace, faithfulness, and trust in God that this woman exemplified. And reading a book chapter dedicated to fleshing out a portion of those characteristics of Hannah was a humbling and richly bountiful process. So much goodness was wrapped up in the pages describing this woman’s life. What a gracious, godly testimony the Lord gives us as women in the life of Hannah.
I truly could do an entire blog series about this one chapter I read about Hannah. My mind has been so full with all I learned and with all the Lord revealed to me through the testimony of her. But today, I will share one portion. The portion which, at this time in my life and the life of our little family, was probably the most impactful.
“She had brought her case before the Lord. Now she was content to leave the matter in His hands. That demonstrates how genuine and patient her faith truly was. Scripture says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you” (Ps. 55:22). Some people will pray, “O God, here’s my problem,” and then leave His presence in complete doubt and frustration, still shouldering the same burden they originally brought before the Lord, not really trusting Him to sustain them. Hannah truly laid her troubles in the lap of the Lord, totally confident that He would answer her in accord for what was best for her. There’s a real humility in that kind of faith……” — pages 100-101, Twelve Extraordinary Women, by John MacArthur
To be fully open with you all, my prayer life has always been a floundering one. And I think John MacArthur must have had me in mind when he wrote the part, “some people will pray, “O God, here’s my problem,” and then leave His presence in complete doubt and frustration, still shouldering the same burden they originally brought before the Lord, not really trusting Him to sustain them.” How often, sadly, this is true of me! I cast my care to the Lord and instead of leaving it there, I pick it back up and take it with me, worrying and fretting about it, desperately trying to find a way to fix it myself.
Now, there is the portion where we have a responsibility to act in the wisdom that God gives us and take practical steps, etc., and Hannah was doing that. She was trying to have a baby. But in her trying, through her weeping and heartache over her barrenness, she left her care with the Lord, totally confident that He would answer herin accord for what was best for her. My problem isn’t the taking practical steps part. Most often, I’ve jumped 2 or 3 steps ahead, ignoring the commands of Scripture to trust in the Lord to sustain me and work out His plan in His time and in the way that is best for me. And when I do that, I rob myself of the peace that surpasses all understanding, knowing that the Lord is always, always going to work out what needs to be worked out and He is going to do so in the way that I most need, as His best for me.
My heart in all of this is very proud. A heart convinced that I really do know what’s best for me. Better than my sovereign, all wise, all knowing God. Well, of course. Oh, how I cringe at my pride as I write this.
I desire for my heart to be so much more like Hannah’s. To have a faith like her’s is described. A faith characterized by “real humility.” A faith that possesses the characteristics that the Lord has called me to seek.
I want to leave my cares at His feet. Really, truly leave them there.
Whenever I write posts such as these I am always filled with gratitude in that, as I see my sin and my need for grace so clearly in these words, I am reminded that I don’t have to remain here. I am being sanctified. The Lord is working on my heart and this is part of the process. He is tearing apart the sinful, self-absorbed me, bit by bit, everyday. And that gives me a lot of hope.