Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The submission of Hannah

This is part three in our "Heart of Hannah" series. If you're just joining us, read the beginning of the journey here. There are days when I am over the moon. Others, I am plagued with every insecurity in the book.

Most of the time I am candid and vulnerable with my husband. When things don't seem to go my way and I just can't seem to see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel, he tends to guide me and two of course are better than one.

I remember one time, when I was sharing with him how insecure I was feeling (one of my many ongoing struggles) he very lovingly and yet very sternly asked me... "Don't you ever just tell the flesh to shut up? Pull out the Word of God and quote it. Just beat that thing with the Word of God."


How dare he? Here I am fishing for pity and some sort of compassion and instead I receive loving reproof. I would love to say I answered correctly and submitted and saw my wrong. Yeahhh, I didn't. I saw the value in what he said, but because he didn't give me butterflies before saying it, I chose to become offended. It didn't stay that way for long of course, but it happened nonetheless.

In 1 Samuel 1, when Hannah was teased by her rival, Peninnah (her husband's other wife... ooo the nerve!) she withdrew herself and did not partake of the celebration which they were in the tabernacle for.

Hannah was hurt! Her hope was deferred and that little... hussy... kept provoking her!

And yet, Elkanah, her husband, in love does what every husband should do. He comforts her, reproves her and says one of the most romantic things a [natural] man tells his wife.

"Then Elkanah, her husband, said to her, 'Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better than ten sons?' " --1 Samuel 1:8

[enter pause... fanning tears away from my eyes]

One of the things that stirred me about Hannah was her response. "She did not harden herself not grow sullen" in her grief nor her reproof.

She didn't call him an insensitive jerk who married another woman (like our matriarch Sara did to Abram).

She didn't withdrawal and refuse to be vulnerable. She didn't sulk for days and give Elkanah the silent treatment.

She submitted to her husband, strengthened herself in the Lord and prayed.

"Then Hannah rose after drinking and eating at Shiloh. Now Eli was sitting at the doorpost of the temple of the Lord." --1 Samuel 1:9

Although the reason for her avoiding food is never made clear, that reason (whether pity, fasting or just a lack of appetite because of heartache) becomes second to Hannah as she responds lovingly and submissively to her husband. She does the very thing he mentions and asks of her.

Her response is exactly who I want to be. Exactly how I want to respond. I wanna be like Hannah.

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