Have you ever waited for something?
Maybe it took you ten years to finish a four-year degree. Maybe you saved for months so that you could buy something that you really wanted. Maybe you’ve been single for a while, and as your biological clock keeps ticking, you wonder how much longer will I have to wait for my spouse? I’ve waited for many things over the course of my life, and each season of waiting tests my patience, my devotion to God, and my ability to persevere.
I thought of this when I read about Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. You see, Hannah was unable to bear children for her husband. In her culture, this was a disgrace. To be barren was to be considered as forgotten by God. What made it worse is her husband had another wife, Peninnah, who’d been able to bear many children. Peninnah teased Hannah repeatedly, further adding salt to the wound. Not only was Hannah barren, she also had to endure being taunted for her inability to reproduce.
What I appreciate about Hannah, is that she didn’t engage in Peninnah’s shenanigans. Instead, she poured her heart out to the Lord (See 1 Samuel 1:15b). She promised God that if He gave her a son, she would dedicate the baby back to Him. A little while later, she conceived and gave birth to Samuel. And the promise she made?–she kept it. God gave her a son, and she dedicated the gift of her son back to Him.
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord…” ~1 Sam. 1:27-28
Hannah challenges me. In her barrenness, she remained devoted to God. She reverenced God in spite of how the situation looked. I’m crazy enough to believe that even if Hannah hadn’t conceived, she still would have remained faithful in her worship.
I’m also challenged by the fact that Hannah did not allow her situation to keep her from talking to God. Her condition was frustrating and humiliating, but she prayed and worshipped through it. Scripture suggests that she waited a long time before she became a mother. But a major highlight is her commitment to God during the waiting season—a season in which it wasn’t clear whether God would answer her prayer the way she wanted Him to.
You may have been waiting a long time for something. Don’t let the length of time you’ve been waiting affect your faithfulness to God. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop glorifying God. If you’re led to fast, then see it through to the end. Regardless of how God chooses to respond, honor Him anyway. Worship while you wait.