Written By: Rachel Betz
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 1:9-28
"Hannah stood up." Such a powerful, significant, and quite frankly, rowdy statement. When you get to know Hannah, you realize life had not been easy for her. In fact, she was quite depressed. She longed for children and yet, was unable to have any. To make the situation harder, her husband took another wife who was able to give him children. And this other woman rubbed Hannah's nose in her inadequacy everyday. Hannah was ridiculed, forced to watch another woman living what she thought was her greatest dream. She quit eating. She cried daily. Her husband tried to encourage her, but it was no use. Until one day..."Hannah stood up."
If I am honest, I can relate to Hannah on many levels. Like Hannah, I have certainly struggled with depression in the waiting. Like Hannah, I can be guilty of looking at another woman's life and feeling inadequate in my own. And like Hannah, I have had moments when action was needed; I needed to stand up. Like a scene from an action movie, I see Hannah surrounded by her family and the woman who had ridiculed her for years, ready for change. Ready to surrender her God-sized dream. Can you just imagine the look on everyone's face as this "hidden" woman rises to her feet? And then she prays. She prays and weeps and promises the Lord she will surrender to Him the one thing she has wanted more than anything else, a child. And God shows up. He blesses her with a child whom she names Samuel. But God's revelation and Hannah's miracle do not end with the birth of Samuel.
Hannah's obedience is put to the test as she is faced with the decision to follow through on her promise and walk in obedience. She must surrender her greatest dream, her son, to the Lord. I don’t know if she wrestled with this decision, but I certainly would have. But Hannah's commitment and obedience was steadfast. Even her husband knows she cannot be deterred from keeping her promise to the Father. His only response, "Do what seems best to you." He must have looked at her like she had lost her mind as she explains to him that she is going to give up her son. Hannah's obedience cost her the one thing she desired, a son. But because she trusted God, her obedience paved the way for our Savior to enter the world. You see, Samuel was responsible for anointing David as King which established the lineage of our Mighty King Jesus. Hannah could not see the big picture, but her obedience in what she could see was history in the making.
I do not know where you are today, but perhaps it is time to stand up in your spirit. Maybe there is an area of your life you have chosen to give up. Sweet friend, the time is right; it’s now! Rise up, get up, stand up! This month it is time to stand.
1. Is there a God-sized dream He is asking you to surrender?
2. Is there a step of obedience God is asking you to take requiring you to trust big?