I’m excited, for the first time in my Jumpstart writing career, to kick off a new book of the Bible. Today we begin the book of 1 Samuel! In this historical and prophetic book we see the nation of Israel transition from a loose confederation of tribes under the judges, to a nation united under a line of kings. It is ultimately this Davidic line of kings that would lead to Jesus the Messiah. There is so much to be gleaned from this amazing OT book and I hope you will dive in with us every day.
In chapter one, we read the story of Elkanah and his family. He has two wives: Hannah and Peninnah. The story is a gut wrenching one, especially for anyone who has had difficulty becoming pregnant and having a child. Hannah is devastated that she is unable to bear a child naturally and to make matters worse Peninnah mocks her for it (v.6). Hannah’s situation must have felt utterly hopeless and extremely painful. We read that she is affected in every aspect of her life because of what she is going through, even to the point that she isn’t eating and she is crying all day (v.8). There is clear depression that Hannah is wrestling with here and many of us can relate to her. For some, you are dealing (or have dealt with) this very same thing that Hannah is going through here. For others, your battle with depression stems from something else. Nonetheless, we see that scripture speaks to us in our brokenness and the people that fill the pages of scripture were broken people just as we are. We also see that God is a God who meets us in our brokenness.
In Hannah’s case, she cries out desperately to The Lord and He graciously answers her prayer for a child. Hannah is so confident that her prayer will be answered, she dedicates the child to The Lord before he is even born (v. 11). While Hannah’s prayer for a child was answered the way she desired it to be answered, it doesn’t always work that way. In God’s sovereign wisdom, which is far beyond our own human wisdom, He gives and takes away life according to His will and His glory. However, what we can be confident in is the fact that through the gospel, God heals broken people and gives hope to the hopeless.
I am very confident that someone will read this post today who is struggling with depression, anxiety, being bullied, or a myriad of other situations in life that have left you feeling hopeless and in pain. My prayer today is that you find encouragement from Hannah’s story but also that you would follow her example in crying out to God desperately in your pain. It is only through the power of the gospel that broken people are restored and given new hope. Also know that you are not alone in your fight. As the church body we are called to bear one another’s burdens and lift each other up. In addition to crying out to The Lord today, if you would like to talk more with someone on our pastoral staff about depression/anxiety please do not hesitate to reach out this week.
By: Matt Mofield