If you’ve been in church any length of time you’ve heard the story of Hannah.
I Samuel 1:5-6, doesn’t waste any time grabbing your attention with “ ...and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.”
Did you feel that? I mean you can’t help but empathize with Hannah.
However, Elkanah and Peninnah are a completely different story. Honestly, I wasn’t fond of either one. It was hard to get pass Elkanah having two wives and Peninnah...well, she was doing the most.
But recently, I took another look at I Samuel and the Lord revealed something that I hadn’t noticed.
The whole family had a common thread, other than marriage. They were all dealing with frustration. Webster describes it as a “feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.”
We’ve all experienced it. Right? Frustration arises when you’re constantly passed over for a promotion. It takes a seat in your soul when you think you should be further along, have more money or live in a bigger house. And it presses in hard when your marriage and children are far from what you hoped or wanted.
Frustration has a way of finding us and Elkanah’s household was no exception.
Hannah was Elkanah’s first wife. And, after years of not being able to have a child, Elkanah married Peninnah to sort of help the process along.
Peninnah was frustrated because, even after having several children, she had not won Elkanah’s heart. - I Samuel 1:4-5
And, Elkanah was in the house with one woman that was angry and another one that was grieving. not the best situation
In the midst of all of this, Hannah displayed tremendous grace and gives us some insight on how to overcome frustration.
Google says, “A reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive.”
On the other hand, “A response is thought out, calm and non-threatening.”
To be completely transparent, I’ve done a lot more reacting than responding. However, the scripture doesn't even hint to the fact that Hannah reacted to Peninnah's tauntings.
In spite of her circumstances, Hannah didn’t loose control or relinquish her peace.
Yeah, it's easy to fly off the handle when we’re frustrated. But that only feeds the situation. And you and I both know that once you've calmed down, you have a hot mess to try to clean up.
Proverbs 29:11 gives us the real deal on reacting, - "A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back." just say amen or ouch
Now you might not be able to physically change your position or separate yourself from the thing or person that is causing you to be frustrated. But, you can redirect your focus and set your attention on the Lord. - Isaiah 50: 7
Take a look at what Hannah did in I Samuel 1:9. "Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house."
Hannah got up, left the dinner table and went to the temple to pray. She put her miracle in motion by changing her position.
Thankfully, we don't have to wait until we get to church to meet with God. We are blessed to freely commune with him no matter where we are. Our closets, cars, bathrooms, or even the beach can become a sanctuary. God doesn’t just allow us to come to him. He invites us to come. And we can trust him to help in our time of need. - Psalm 46:1
Put It Where It Belongs
For some odd reason, we try to figure out our problems and bear the weight of every situation. Can I just tell you that God doesn't want us to live under that kind of pressure? It's too much.
Recently I was reading Morning Manna For Your Day and the question "What areas of your life do you need to bring under His authority?" stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I was frustrated and upset about things that were not even mine to carry.
My friend, God wants us to place every situation, every disappointment and every frustration underneath His authority. That's where it belongs.
I pray that your today and all of your tomorrows will be filled with countless blessings. But just in case frustration makes a surprise visit, remember that you don’t have to simply deal with it or endure it. You can overcome it like Hannah and walk in freedom and victory.
Your Sister Friend,