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Notes From My Quiet Time

Aug 23, 2011

” . . . .So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” 1 Samuel 1:18As many of you know, I’ve been reading through the Bible this year. It’s been a wonderful exercise and has enlightened me to so many things I’ve never seen in the Scriptures before.. . .or things that I’ve seen before but hadn’t really been struck by the first time around.I love it when that happens. Getting “struck” by God’s Word is what I live for.And yesterday, that is exactly what happened.At the beginning of 1st Samuel a young woman by the name of Hannah is in despair. She cannot seem to have any children of her own and to make matters worse, her husband’s other wife, Peninnah – who is called “her rival” in Scripture – tortures her by constantly bringing this fact to her attention. With a brood of children to her credit, Peninnah makes provoking Hannah a hobby. Hannah is so distraught that she is overcome with emotion and is unable to eat. (1:8)Unable to eat?That’s some serious sadness, we’re talking about. There ain’t much that has made me too emotional to wolf down a cheese burger in my time. I might have shed a tear or two, but put a plate of nachos in front of me, dripping with all the right fixins and I’m bound to break.But not Hannah, She was so sad internally that her body is affected externally. This is deep devastation that we’re talking about here.She prays – no, she begs Yahweh for a child and she cries out in such desperation that the priest thinks she is drunk and scolds her for it. But Hannah explains that she isn’t inebriated, just desperate for an answer to her prayer.So, having gone to Shiloh and having spilled her deepest heart’s desire to the Lord in such an extravagant way that even bystanders considered a bit over the top, the highlight of the passage is seen in verse 18. See if you can catch what might have “struck” me:“So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” – (vs 18)She went.She ate.She was no longer sad.Amazing what pouring your heart out to God can accomplish. Yes, even before there is a sure answer. Yes, even before there is a change in circumstance. With just words uttered to God and a heart that believes He has heard and, in His own timing, will respond appropriately, there is power – enough power to change your life right then and there. Maybe the greatest power of prayer is seen in Hannah’s story. It’s the power not only to change our circumstances but to change us before we see any direct change in them.To get us back to our hamburgers and enchiladas even while we still have some issues on the table of our lives.When we truly give our cares away to God, there should be a lightening in the load we carry that allows us to get up and go on with life. That enables us to eat when our unsettled stomachs could hold nothing down the day before and to no longer carry the weight of sadness that often paralyzes us from doing and being what He has called us to do and be.It’s the power of prayer – to change a life from the inside out, even before anything we’re facing has begun to shift.Hope this blesses you today and causes you to pour your heart out to God about anything you are facing.Then go eat something good. . . and be satisfied.Bless youPriscilla