Her body ached with the pain of her sobs.
The tears that had flowed so freely now lay damp in the carpets or dried on her cheeks. Her voice grew hoarse and cracked as she poured out her desperation. So deep was her anguish that she could find no words to describe her suffering. Instead, her groaning spoke its own language that could be understood only by another in deep sorrow.
Slowly her conscious mind became aware of a voice speaking to her. "Hannah. Hannah? Why are you crying? And why are you not eating with the rest of us? Why is your heart so grieved?"
With one last shuddering breath, she sat up and looked at her husband with red-rimmed eyes. "Oh Elkanah!" she replied. "You know why I cry. You know my heart longs for a baby."
For a moment, pain flickered in the eyes of Elkanah as Hannah’s words struck his heart. Softly he spoke, “Am I not better to you than ten sons?”
Perhaps this is not how this scene played out in that long-ago biblical story. We do know that every word of the Bible was written for a reason -- for the Christian to make application to his or her walk with God. So when I read these words in the first chapter of 1 Samuel, I imagined this scene and was struck by the parallels in my own life.
You see, I was just like Hannah.
No, I wasn’t begging God for a baby. I actually already had one. A beautiful boy with blond hair, blue eyes...and a list of medical needs as long as my arm. And my need was for a miracle in his precious little body.
And so I begged God in desperation for the miracle (that we had already been promised, I might add). It was during this desperate struggle that I felt as if God whispered, “Am I not better to you than this healing?”
What a shock! (I wonder if Hannah was shocked when Elkanah uttered similar words to her.)
Seriously, God? I thought. Here I am pouring out my pain to You, and all You’re worried about is our relationship?
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that, yes, that’s exactly what the Lord was trying to get across to me. During one of my more difficult days, my husband even reminded me of this. He said (more or less), "Stop stressing over our promise being fulfilled and get to really know the One who will fulfill it."
At first, I balked. I mean, I was hurt by God. He was the one who had allowed this terrible hurt in my life and was even now holding back the completion of His word. (Have you ever felt like that?)
But with baby steps I began to "turn my eyes on Jesus." And you know what? The pain in my life paled in comparison to "His glory and grace."
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Even the painful things.
Even the hard things.
It all works together to bring us closer to Him, IF we allow it.
When I get overwhelmed with the enormity of my need, I have to stop and realize that there is a God whose first priority is not to meet my need, but to have relationship with me.
Friend, allow the trial of your life that seems so very hard draw you closer to your King. He is so much better than "10 sons" -- or whatever your need might be. I promise you, His grace truly is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).