From Tears of Pain to Tears of Joy
1 Samuel 2:1-10
Verse 1 Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because You rescued me.
Have you ever cried out to the Lord from a hurt heart? Maybe life took a U-turn that you didn’t see coming or maybe the doctor gave you bad news about you or a loved one. Or maybe like Hannah, your pain came in the form of teasing from someone who had something that you really wanted yourself. For Hannah that something was a baby.
In chapter one of 1 Samuel we learn that Hannah felt the pain of infertility. The inability to have children is painful enough without having someone rub it in that they can have as many children as they want to have. This is the pain that Hannah was dealing with when she went to the tabernacle to pray. She prayed so hard that she cried hard and the priest, Eli, thought she was drunk. But God heard those prayers of torment and answered Hannah’s prayer. Another portion of her prayer was that she was going to give the baby to God when He gave it to her. Yes, you read that right, when she got what she wanted from God, she was going to give it back to Him. That is where today’s verses of praise come in.
After weaning the child she takes the child back to the Tabernacle to give him to God and when she has done that she bursts into praise. Not just any ordinary praise, this is a moment of personal praise. She is feeling vindicated and you can see that in her prayer of praise. She also speaks the truth of God being in control. The thing that you can’t miss in her prayer is that it is heartfelt. You can see the way her anguish turns to joy.
Now let’s step back from the prayer for a moment and remember that this prayer came a few years after her prayer of deep pain. In those few years she had her prayer answered, had held and loved on that answer in the form of her son and watched him take his first steps and probably heard his first words. All the while preparing her heart to keep her promise to give him back to God. When the time came to make the trip with her young son, she likely tried to remember each and every minute of those last days. And when she had kept her word she praised God for allowing it all to happen. Her heart had to be hurting but she loved God more than she loved her child. And even in those first moments of separation from her son, she praised!
Making It Personal
When is a time in your life when you have found it hard to praise? What emotion was behind your pain? Find at least one thing about that time to praise God about today.
Making it Personal Kids
Do you find it hard to sing when you are sad? Can you think of a time you were that sad that it was hard to sing? Try singing today. Maybe even make up your own song. Have mom and dad video it so you can remember how you felt later.
Father, thank You for hearing and listening to us no matter if we are in pain or are praising from a place of joy. Thank You for examples throughout Your Word of people who praised You even when it hurt. Help us be the people of praise You have created us to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.