“…and her countenance was no more sad”

Hannah in the Temple

In the first Chapter of the first Book of Samuel, an extraordinary story is told of a woman whose faith is deeply moving and worth emulating. As a woman who couldn’t bare children, Hannah was mocked at and yet she remained steadfast, and rather cast her burdens upon the LORD!

One of the qualities I love about Hannah is that of self-awareness. In verse 15 she responds to a concerned Prophet Eli, who thought she was drunk because as she spoke in her heart to the LORD only her lips moved and yet her voice was not heard, saying, “…I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.” Many times while we go through life’s challenges, we fail to acknowledge who and what we are- what our story truly is! But Hannah knew her struggles, she knew her challenges, she knew what her story was, and although her trials were such that could crumple anyone in her shoes, she actually allowed her truth to lead her back to the feet of her Heavenly Father. She increased her faith by praying unto the LORD and laying before Him all her worries and cares. Hannah never wavered in her faith, and when she prayed, she did so sincerely and with a pure heart believing that she will receive answers to her prayer.

Another powerful lesson I’ve learnt from Hannah is that when we have faith in GOD and ask what we need, we have to believe that we shall receive it according to His will and promises. Because Hannah had no doubts about the LORD’s power to grant her her heart desires, after her prayers and following Eli’s reassurance in verse 17, she “went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad”. She went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad! I found this sentence quite striking. I asked myself why would Hannah leave the Temple, go home and eat and stop being sad, and worried, and frustrated when her prayers were not yet answered. I thought to myself, “wow, Hannah did exactly what she’d have done and felt exactly how she’d have felt when her prayers were answered, although at the time she did these things her prayers had not yet been answered. I was frankly in awe of Hannah’s spirituality and undying faith. There’s a lesson in here to be treasured- if you have faith that the Lord knows your worries and will listen to your prayers, you do not have to still remain sad and uncertain about your circumstances even after laying those burdens at His feet. Just like Hannah, you need to be of good cheer, believing that the LORD has heard your prayers and cries and surely will attend. You do not need to maintain a worried or sad countenance after speaking your heart out to your Maker.

As we stay joyful while waiting on the LORD, He sees our faith and our trust in Him and He will surely come to our aid. The LORD did remember Hannah and gave her Samuel, and she held on to her vows to the LORD and gave Samuel back to the LORD.

Faith is a spiritual gift (1st Corinthians 12:9) and all spiritual gifts come from GOD for the benefit of the children of GOD, and anyone who asks in Spirit for any of such gifts shall receive in Spirit. I yearn for such faith as Hannah’s and I yearn for same for you. As we strive to stay hopeful and have faith even as little as a grain of mustard seed, we will receive peace and joy in our lives, and our countenance will no more be sad as we wait upon the blessings we so earnestly seek. And even when those blessings do not come in the exact same design we hoped they would, we will still rejoice in our Heavenly Father’s will and wise timing for us.

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