May 18 - Barren...
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:26 / John 10:22-42 / Psalm 63:1-11
During the days of Hannah, the greatest joy for a wife was when she became a mother. The greatest honor she could give her husband, was a newborn son. Hannah grieved because she was barren and scripture tells us God closed up her womb. I don’t know why God did, but He had a purpose for her barrenness and he had a greater purpose in opening her womb. No one understood Hannah’s grief. Her husband tried to console her, his second wife (Hannah’s rival) provoked her and Eli the High Priest misunderstood and condemned her.
We all encounter times of barrenness. We wrestle with unfulfilling careers, empty relationships, and fruitless lives. We don’t understand “why” and feel God is no longer concerned for us, blaming Him for the barrenness. We deal with barrenness a lot easier when we can blame someone or something, so we focus on the “who” instead of the “why”.
God remained quiet and didn’t respond to Hannah until she desperately pleaded her case and vowed to dedicate her requested son to Him. It was after this encounter, God spoke through Eli and told Hannah her request had not only been heard, but would be answered. Her spirits were lifted, her joy returned and God opened her womb. Hannah delivered a son, Samuel (Heard of God), and she promptly placed him in the Lord’s care after he was weaned.
Samuel becomes a great and godly leader. God uses him to bring holiness and spiritual stability to a wayward nation. The purpose of Hannah’s barrenness was to bring her to a broken point in life so God could bring about a greater purpose through her son Samuel. What purpose does God have for your barrenness? A purpose probably far greater than you might imagine. Barren? No problem! Our God is the Life Giver!