This week’s lectionary includes the story of Hannah, Samuel’s mother. You may remember the somewhat melodramatic story of Samuel – especially God calling him in the middle of the night. Samuel’s mother has her own story – one of wishing and wanting – hoping for a child of her own.
Many of us can probably relate to Hannah’s difficulty with infertility. Statistics say that as many as 6.7 million couples or 11% of the reproductive population in the US struggle with infertility. Facing this challenge situation can bring a myriad of emotions. Deep struggles in our lives also bring seasons of doubt and distance from God and faith in general. Hearing stories of the people of God who also struggled to hope for their lives to be something different – these stories help provide us with hope.
We often think of a baby as a promise of hope – hope for the future. Whatever deep struggles you or your loved ones may be facing during this season of life – may Hannah’s story help you have faith and perseverance. Unfortunately it isn’t so easy as having faith and then receiving what we want. Sometimes I have to remind myself that God isn’t a vending machine I can put prayers into and get out what I want.
We can find some peace in knowing that in the chaos and pain of this world, God loves us. God walks with us – as God was with Hannah. The people around us sometimes get it, or sometimes they rub salt in our wounds. The church sometimes supports us – or like the priest Eli- sometimes doesn’t understand us. At the end of the day we can always rest in the knowledge that we are not alone. The Holy Spirit goes with us every where we go. May that knowledge provide us with hope.