An Emptied Heart

“Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. And she, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” 1 Samuel 1:9-10


The word distressed in verse 10 can be translated as bitter. Hannah had every right to be bitter. She was barren and her husband had taken another wife that was able to bear children. Verse 2 of chapter 1 tells us, “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children,” Even Though Hannah was given a double a double portion at sacrifice by her husband Elkanah it did not alleviate her bitterness. The pain of being barren combined with having another woman bear children for her husband would be too much for anyone to bear. No one would blame Hannah for her bitterness.


In the very next verse Hannah empties herself out before the Lord and by the end of her prayer finds peace. I wonder how often we take the time to empty ourselves completely before the Lord and allow Him to fill us up with His peace. We have great admiration for Hannah and her resolve to give her son back to the Lord. What we forget is that Hannah began as a woman who wept bitterly before the Lord and allowed Him to restore her peace. What would happen if each time we prayed we emptied our hearts and allowed Him to fill us? Well, for Hannah the exchange was bitterness for the perfect peace of God. What would it be for you?


Amber Clendenin