Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hannah - A Woman Who Seeks

The last two weeks have been full of visits to doctors and research of the maze of treatment options. Some days we have walked out of an doctor's office shaking our heads and saying, "He might be a great doctor, but not for us." Other times we have known within minutes that we had found our doctor. We continue to feel the power of your prayers as God gives us His amazing peace.

One of the downsides of being a writer is that there is always a chance that what you write will someday come back to haunt you.

A few days ago I happened to remember an article I wrote years ago about the Health Maze. I pulled it up wondering if I'd have to add a disclaimer that this wasn't true with brain cancer. But Ed and I both read it and agreed that the truth of God's Word can stand up to any circumstances. Even brain cancer.

This spring Keepers at Home magazine published an article I wrote about Hannah - another in Proverbs 31 series. I wrote it quite a while ago but when I picked up the magazine recently, I was struck with how well the topic of seeking and surrender applied to me today.

Hannah – A Woman Who Seeks

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Tears dripped through her fingers and onto her robe. Her lips moved soundlessly. The tabernacle was filled with the festival crowds but she didn't notice. Head in her hands, she was focused only on her petition.

For years Hannah had carried the shame of barrenness. Mocked by other women, she longed to have a child. Even the love of her husband did not salve her empty, hurting heart. The yearly trip to sacrifice at Shiloh was her opportunity to pour out her longing to the Lord.

At the doorway sat the high priest, watching the crowd. Hannah's strange behavior caught his attention and, mistaking her agony for drunkenness, he spoke sharp words of condemnation. When she explained, Eli quickly blessed Hannah and assured her that God would grant her request.

What is it that I seek with all my heart? A happy marriage, a baby or two, a long, fruitful life? Maybe it is the salvation of a family member, the healing of a terminally ill loved one, or finances to pay off debt.

 Am I embarrassed to reveal my longing to others? Am I ashamed to pray for my heart's desire – and allow others to intercede with me?

I could pretend I don't have needs, but then I miss a blessing because of the pride that keeps me silent. “Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

God gave Hannah her heart's desire, a son. But she did not hold her child to herself. She gave her young son Samuel back to God. Samuel served God in Shiloh at the Lord's house for the rest of his life.

It wasn't a reluctant offering, a grudging sacrifice. It was an exuberant, lavish, abundant gift. When giving up her longed-for son, Hannah spoke a song of praise to God (1 Samuel 2) that would later become the model for the song of another expectant mother, Mary the mother of Jesus, centuries later.

But Hannah did not forget Samuel. Each year Hannah made a new robe for her son and brought it to Shiloh when they went for the yearly sacrifice. I can imagine the prayers and love she stitched into each seam. And God didn't forget Hannah either. He filled her arms with five more children.

God may choose to give me the desire of my heart. But am I then willing to give it back to Him to be used for His service? Or do I selfishly hold it tight, afraid that I might lose what is so dear to me? “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

A heart that seeks God and hands that seek to serve, we find both in the example of Hannah.


  1. I don't know you in "real" life. And you don't know me. But I've been following your blog for quite awhile now. And you and Ed are an inspiration to me. My husband and I have been married 39 years this summer and we have three grown children and several grandchildren. I'm learning lessons from you every time you post. Our Bible study at our church has been praying for Ed's healing if it is Gods will. Thank you for this post and please know that you're in the hearts and the prayers of many that have never even met you.
    Blessings, Betsy

  2. Thanks for sharing this Gina. Yes everything we have we must allow the Lord to have. After all He owns everything!
    God bless!

  3. I love this post, and the article you wrote about Hannah. Wonderful words to live by. God bless you & your family as you go through these trying times. Praise our glorious Father in Heaven for His watchful eye, His comforting hand, His compassion for us, His guidance in our lives, & His ever-constant love for us. We are still praying for healing for Ed. (Carol in Phoenix, AZ)

  4. Those of us who truly beleive we are all Gods' children, are faced with this same challenge in big and small ways every day. Sometimes we tantrum over it! Until we find peace in it. The illustration with Hannah is so powerful, and challenging! Beautifully written!


  5. #88 Акапельное, семейное пение Менонитов. Mennonite family singing.
    Not sure if it works to click on this link or if you may need to copy and paste it. It's a beautiful song about finding sweet refuge in the arms of love.

  6. Thank you for sharing the Joys and Sorrows of your life. You have been a blessing to me and have challenged me to be faithful as a mother and wife.
    Praying for your family as you walk through this cancer journey with Ed.

  7. Gina, I haven't read your blog in the last month as we were traveling out of state and things have been very hectic. I was stunned to read the news about your husband Ed. I am praying for you and your family now. One of many Scriptures that comforted me as I wept and prayed in a difficult, seemingly impossible time for our family was Psalm 3:3-5 (especially on those nights when I was so anxious I didn't know if sleep would ever come). God is holding you even now and I pray you feel His presence and strong love.

  8. Oh, I didn't realize that you wrote in Keepers! I have received that magazine for the last few years. I so enjoy The proverbs 31 series.

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