So often there is a gap of time between the promise and the promise fulfilled.
Lately, I have been intrigued with the heart of Hannah. In 1 Samuel chapter 1, Hannah is a woman who has been praying for years in hopes of a child. The people around her have been speaking doubt and hopelessness over her life, yet she clings to the promises of God.
She is a woman whose heart never stopped believing God for the things He said He would do. A woman, who in her barrenness, never once stopped pouring out her heart in prayer. She immersed herself in hope when the very thing she desired most appeared to be lost, barren and nowhere in sight.
It has been so easy to lose hope and be filled with doubt when I find myself in a season of waiting. Whether that’s waiting for a promise to be fulfilled financially, relationally, spiritually or vocationally (just to name a few).
It is so easy to step into the doubts of this world and cling to the empty words of those around us instead of immersing ourselves in the promises that God speaks over our lives. It is so easy to drown ourselves in the barrenness in front of us instead of quieting our hearts and listening to that still small voice that says, “I see you and I know you, Child. Lean into Me. Press into My Love. I am faithful.” When no one else sees our pain or knows our hearts, He does.
For years, all Hannah wanted was a son, and for years all Hannah received was criticism from her family. When she was crushed in spirit, Hannah slipped away to a quiet place and continued to pour out her heart to God.
“…she pulled herself together and slipped away quietly.” v.9
I think it’s in our seasons of barrenness that Jesus enfolds us and reminds us that He is everything. His Grace fills the crevasses of our emptiness and His grace lacks nothing—we are constantly full.
In her season of sorrow, Hannah never once stopped seeking God. When He was silent, she prayed. When the world around her spoke doubt, she spoke truth. She continued to pour out her heart even when there was nothing left to pour.
“Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God… ‘I’ll give him (her son) completely and unreservedly to You. I’ll set him apart for a holy life.’” v.9-11
And God reminds me over and over how He sees me, how He saw Hannah.
“And the Lord remembered her, and in due time she gave birth to a son “ v.19-20
In due time.
In His time.
And He remembers us. Not only remembers but seeks us out, and not only seeks us out, but fills our emptiness and prepares our hearts for the blessings to come.
When God was silent, Hannah never stopped praying and believing. When people around her spoke doubt and hopelessness over her life, Hannah never stopped pouring out her heart, or stopped believing with hope for what God could do for her and promised to do. Oh, how I desire to be a woman who pours out all I have even when there is nothing left to pour!
When my heart is empty, may I be a woman who intentionally chooses to be brave and take my empty pieces and with a heart full of hope, lay them at the feet of Jesus.
And when that promise was fulfilled and Hannah bore a son, she gave that promise right back to the Lord. She devoted her son to the Lord before she received the blessing. She fully understood the purpose of the promise.
And maybe that’s it. Maybe all of the things we are blessed with and the promises fulfilled are just additional blessings. Gifts given by a gracious Giver. And we get the Giver of gifts everyday.
We get Jesus.
He prepares our hearts in the waiting, so when the time comes for the promise to be fulfilled, we are already holding the blessing with open hands. Ready to give it back to Him. And when we hold it with open hands, we get to watch the Gracious Giver multiply and resurrect what we thought was dead, and find what we thought was lost.
So when you find yourself in a barren land—
That job just won’t fall into place. The doctors say there is no cure. The world around you speaking doubt and failure over your marriage and relationships. The baby that won’t come. The broken relationship in front of you seeming hopeless with no restoration in sight. That addiction that won’t leave you alone—
May we be women who intentionally decide to live in hope and be brave during our barren seasons. May we cling to the words God speaks over our lives, and drown out the empty voices around us that have no substance. May we stand firm on His promise that He alone re-kindles our burned out lives with fresh hope every morning.
With hearts full of expectancy, may we hold our broken pieces with open hands and watch the gracious Giver make something beautiful out of them.
Killian is the Lead Photographer with Couture31 and lives with a heart that constantly overflows. She currently works with Lightforce International, an organization that seeks to bring restoration and freedom to women caught in the sex industry. Connect with her on Instagram at @killianrose.