Have you ever been desperate? Desperation has a kind of negative connotation with it, however the reality is that it is neither positive or negative. The emphasis of desperation is more on the reason why someone is desperate. Spiritually speaking, desperation can cause you to either run to God or run away from Him. It can cause you to depend on God to handle your emergency or bypass Him and take care of it yourself. However, desperation can be the fuel that you need to keep the comforting fires of warmth burning, or it can be the blistering snow storm that stops help from coming. Ultimately, we choose.
Hannah of the Bible, was such a woman- a desperate woman. Hannah wasn't desperate for money, for she had that. She wasn't desperate for love, for she had that. She wasn't desperate for affection, nor attention, for she had that. What Hannah was desperate for was the opportunity to have a child with her husband and take part in the yearly sacrificial meal that her husband and his other wife Peninnah, along with her children, were annually enjoying. Hannah would become more frustrated as this scene was repeated year after year as Peninnah continuously provoked her and vexed her to tears- because Hannah had no son to represent her.
If you've read the story, Elkanah was a worshipping man who ordered his house in the ways of God. He led his wives yearly to offer sacrifice to the Lord and to eat in the Lord's presence. This was a very important time of year, and although Hannah had no children, Elkanah yet gave her a double portion which still, in Hannah's eyes did not suffice. So he tried to comfort Hannah saying: "...Am I not more to you than ten sons?" (I Samuel 1:8). However, Hannah could not shake the desperation of wanting a lineage of her own to stand for God. She desperately wanted a son of her own body to take away her embarrassment and shame of being barren, which caused her great frustration.
Think about this for a moment: Have you ever had somebody try to box you in to what they believe you to be or should be? When people put you in a little box, it's their way of trying to define and categorize you, your worth, value, and substance. In their eyes, you can go no further than that little box they put you in. Peninnah was such a person to Hannah. She confined Hannah to the box of barreness, because in her mind, Hannah would never be able to get or be released from that condition, but how many of you know, BUT God!
Here's the thing ladies, God did not move on Hannah's behalf because of her frustration, nor her desperations. He didn't move on her behalf because of her embarrassment, tears, desires, or her fears. So exactly what moved God?
First off, God is a covenant making God. He is a God of purpose, covenant, and vision. Hannah learned that to get God to move it had to more than about what she desired and wanted; it had to be about His will being accomplished in the earth. The moment Hannah came into agreement and alignment with God's will he opened her womb. You see, Peninnah and Peninnah's children were only a reminder of what Hannah lacked and the frustration of not being able to help herself. They were a constant reminder of what she could not do on her own. But, the moment Hannah got God in it, things changed. Have you ever been there? She not only received of the Lord what she desired, but as part of her covenant vow she gave what she desired, the child, back to Him.
God could have blessed Hannah with a son at any time. He saw how desperate she was, but Hannah wasn't ready to receive yet. Why wasn't she ready to receive you may ask, because she was crying all the time and pleading to God for it? Hannah initially wanted to get back at her rival, Peninah, and show her what was up. Hannah wanted to say, "See, now what?" And as long as she wanted to show her rival up, Hannah wasn't ready. The moment she got off of her own page and got on God's she came into alignment and agreement with God's will and purpose on the earth (I Samuel 1:11). It has to be more than about you, your image, and your territory. It has to be about more than who knows you, status, success, and wealth. It has to be more than about the big pay back. If it isn't, you will stay frustrated and live a frustrated life. Prima donna's don't regulate and rule in the Kingdom of God. Why? Because they aren't ready. They aren't God minded or Kingdom minded. They are me, myself, and I minded.
Sometimes God is waiting on us to simply become so frustrated and desperate at our own actions and workings that we will finally give up and get out of the way so that He can work on our behalf. For some of us, we just aren't desperate enough- we have too much fight within us which keeps us from going any further in the plan God has for us. We want God to get on our page when God desires us to get and be on His.
God was ushering in a new order in the book of I Samuel. He was transitioning from the old order; from the time of the Judges to the time of the prophets, but Hannah initially was missing the point. The point wasn't about Peninnah and her children, nor was it about Hannah's lack of children, need, desires, or frustrations. However, it was about the covenant vow she had now made with God and God's desire to accomplish His will on the earth. God had a purpose. Peninnah only served to make Hannah desperate enough to align herself with the will God in not only getting what she wanted from Him, but giving God back what He wanted from her, which was a prophet in the earth. Trust me, you're not waiting on God- God is waiting on you to get off your own page and on to His.
Sometimes the place of your greatest desperation becomes the place of your greatest breakthrough- like Hannah. For her, it finally was not about getting back at Peninnah. It became more about God's will being done in the earth. It no longer mattered what "they" said, it became more about the covenant of partnership between her and God. To show her seriousness, when Hannah had Samuel, she gave him back to God so that he could be reared in His presence and trained in the things of God all the days of his life. Samuel was given back to the Lord to be used any way the Lord saw fit. Since God could have blessed her with a child at any time prior to her vow, perhaps He didn't because she would not have let Samuel go in the service of the Lord. Maybe she would have clung to him and Samuel would have been an ordinary child with an ordinary existence. Have you considered that maybe breakthrough will occur in your own life when you let what God gave you go and give it back to Him? God allowed Hannah to continue being frustrated until she gave Him what He wanted and that was Samuel in His service all the days of his life. Samuel was born to serve. We, like Hannah, must know that we too are born to serve in order to become good servants over God's resources.If what we are doing isn't working, perhaps taking a truthful look at who's in charge would help. Perhaps we want to hold onto what we have when God is saying to give it to Him and walk away. Sometimes, we have a tendency to want to show people when God wants to show us! We must decide do we stay the same, or do we change and transition with God? God wants to use us, but it is only as we follow Him and He transitions us to another level of glory, that we come to realize and understand His will, timing, and purpose. Make the decision to transition with God. The Penniah's in your life are there to bring you to this truth- God is bringing all things in order, agreement, and alignment with His will and He is desiring to use you to do it. Get off your page in get on to His! God bless.