“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
In a culture that measured a woman’s worth by her fertility, Hannah was barren—and her husband’s other wife twisted that knife as often as possible.
This verse always made me want to smack Elkanah. He loved Hannah, but how could he be so clueless? How could he not understand the pain of Hannah’s longing? Not pick up on her rival’s smugness?
Last week’s post made me see this passage differently. If we’re trusting in God’s unfailing love instead of in self-pity, anger, anxiety, whatever—if we can grasp just a bit of God’s love, won’t we say it’s enough?
What if Elkanah and Hannah are a picture of God and us? Don’t we often hold onto other desires—real, deep and painful—instead of being satisfied by all that God is? The irony is, we can’t discover His depths while we’re focused on what we don’t have.
I’m not trying to minimize our longings. Love, employment, children, publication, whatever it is that’s the empty place in our hearts, these things matter. Some longings, like Hannah’s, are God-planted. He’ll fulfil those. Others, equally strong, He won’t. And we won’t know why. Or which are which, until some come to fruition.
The lesson for me is this: we need to trust His unfailing love. We need to let God be enough for us in the now.
God our Provider, our Sustainer and Redeemer, forgive us for letting unmet longings take our hearts away from You. Teach us to trust Your unfailing love, and open our spirits to realize that You are enough. Please fill what’s empty in us and help us trust You with the desires of our hearts.
Let Chris Tomlin remind us of these truths with his song, “Enough“.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.