One of the most heartbreaking scenes in the Bible occurs in 1 Samuel 1. It is the exchange between two women who are married to the same man. Peninnah had children and Hannah did not. As this scene plays out it becomes very clear that Hannah had a deep desire to be a mother and the one who could have been her closest ally turned into a bitter rival. As Peninnah would make fun of her… berate her… and question her purpose and womanhood.
We see this scene play out as a completely broken Hannah is pouring out her heart before the Lord in the temple. She is so broken in fact that the priest in the temple thinks that she must be drunk and he reprimands her for drinking too much. However, when she informs him that she is not drunk but filled with heart ache and anger over this situation and was desperately begging God for a child, the priest blessed her and assured her that the God of Israel would grant her request.
Now here is the part that surprises me. For years and years and years her heart ached for a child. For years and years and years Pehinnah had berated her and made fun of her. Think of the doubt and frustration that must have haunted Hannah on a daily basis. Yet one promise from heaven changed everything.
vs 18 Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Why was she so happy? Cause she believed the promise the moment it was given… and long before it was fulfilled. She was happy because she didn’t have to live in doubt anymore. She was happy because she knew that one promise from the Lord would change everything. She was happy because she believed that God was able.