February 4, 2016
Whether you are a Christian or not, at some point in your life, disappointment will come; however, the way we handle it may very well be the breakthrough moment we’ve actually been waiting for.
I love the story of Hannah, probably because I can personally relate to it. After six years of marriage, my husband and I were told by the doctor that we would not have children of our own and that we would need to adopt. That was truly one of my deepest desires, to have a husband and a family. So like Hannah, I was so sad and deeply disappointed. I can remember each time that I would hear that someone was pregnant; their good news would trigger my personal pain. It wasn’t that I was not happy for them; I just desired to have children of my own.
Hannah had her own personal pain. The Bible says that she was barren. Hannah and Peninnah were both wives of Elkanah. Peninnah had many children. The Bible says that she “provoked” Hannah in regard to having no children. Every year, year after year, Peninnah, Hannah’s rival, would harass Hannah about being barren. Finally, I think Hannah had lost all hope; all that was left was disappointment. Something had to change for her. So Hannah went to the House of the Lord. Eli, the Priest, found her outside of the temple crying in anguish. She could have done many things: she could have hardened her heart and walked away; she could have been angry with the Lord; she could have vowed to never receive anything from the Lord again. She was at a moment of decision. Instead of walking away, she went right to Him. She poured out her heart, every bit of her disappointment. The Lord heard her cries, and granted her request through the Priest, Eli. In exchange for the Lord giving her a son, Hannah made a vow to give him back to the Lord.
Every mother sacrifices for her children; however, for those that had many children, like Peninnah, they probably did not understand that specific sacrifice. As for Hannah, who had longed for a child, finally had one of her own, and then she gave him back to the Lord, to Eli, to raise, she had to have some kind of exchange with the Lord that enabled her to do it. I believe she saw God in her circumstances.
Matthew 5: 8 (NKJV) Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The word “see” in the Greek is “Chadar” which means Chamber. The root of Chadar means to enclose, enter a privy chamber. It is the innermost part. Webster’s’ Dictionary says: Privy is the sharing in the knowledge of (something secret or private).
I believe when Hannah stepped into His chamber, the secret place with God, and she poured out her heart, her disappointment, there was an exchange. She gave Him her disappointment, and she walked away with a confidence and peace that only He could give. Her outlook and beliefs about her circumstances had changed in her mind and in her heart. In reality, nothing in the natural had changed; but in one moment with God, everything changed for her. I believe in that moment, Hannah’s hope was renewed for having her own child. I think she left the temple in peace, and with anticipation that she would have a son. She didn’t know when, but she knew in her heart that it would happen.
The story goes on to tell us that Hannah had a son and named him Samuel. Samuel was one of the greatest Old Testament Prophets. (I Samuel 1&2) After Hannah gave Samuel to the Lord, the Bible says that she had three sons and two daughters. I believe that one key moment with the Lord, gave her the breakthrough that she had been waiting for in her life.
Is there a situation or circumstance in your life that has brought you to a place of total discouragement? Maybe it’s time for you to step into His Chamber – His Chadar, and ask God, the Creator of the Universe, to exchange your disappointment for hope for your future, for your circumstances. Go to the secret place with Him; enter His Chamber.
Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)
91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
In closing, Curtis and I were blessed with children of our own and with many spiritual sons and daughters. We have raised three young men and God has blessed us with two beautiful daughters. The picture above is our Face time Christmas photo for 2015. When I look at this picture, I’m reminded that God has certainly taken our sadness and disappointment and exchanged it for joy and anticipation for greater!