Hannah’s first morning sickness
This writing was inspired by Francine Rivers’ book “SONS of ENCOURAGEMENT”, it has given me a deeper insight to understanding God’s voice and it would be a treasonous sin if I did not acknowledge that fact.
Hannah was a woman in a dilemma: loved dearly by her husband but she could not bear children for the Lord had closed her womb (1st Samuel 1v5b). I am convinced that she was Elkanah’s love of the heart but since a man had to preserve his name a second woman (Peninah) was brought in to produce the children and boy did she produce!!
I am somehow convinced that if the issue had stopped with the production of children there would not have been much anguish but as with most bigamist homes, pain was inevitable. The good book speaks of her rival provoking her in order to irritate her (1st Samuel 1vs6-7). This went on every year and even distracted her from her annual spiritual sojourn.
I am somehow convinced that Peninah conceived as many times as she could (probably every year) so as to spite her rival. I imagine Hannah’s feeble attempts to send one of Peninah’s children to bring her water and the riposte that would follow couched along lines that were simply telling her to give birth to her own children who would run her errands. More pain. The pain was so much that Hannah would always be weeping and refusing to eat. Even the husband’s effort to commiserate with her did not help.
I am not sure what happened that year when the family went on their annual pilgrimage to Shiloh. Maybe the rival overstepped her taunts; maybe the rival fell pregnant immediately after giving birth, whatever happened, it triggered in Hannah a desire to offload to the Lord.
Finally it dawned to her that if the Lord had closed her womb then the only person to contend with was the Lord and not misdirected tears and refusing to eat delicious meals. It dawned to her that the source who could plug the river of pain was the Lord and like a drunken woman she offloaded her burden to the right place and source- the Lord.
She stopped concentrating on the pain the rival was giving her. She stopped listening to the henpecked husband’s endearments which were hollow as they did not stop him from siring more children with the pain giving Peninah. She made a vow to the Lord, she did not want a number of children equal to her rival, she did not want a child as a relic, and all she wanted was a child of remembrance who she vowed to dedicate unto the Lord.
Having come to the right source , having closed the receptacles that were allowing her rival’s pain into her life , having stopped shedding useless tears- she found the right source- she unloaded to God with a vow and went back home with a lesser burden.
Because she did not allow the pain to floor her anymore I am convinced she was able to concentrate on important issues that ply the link between a man and a woman. I am convinced that because she now had a pleasant aura around her (she was now eating and smiling more frequently) Brother Elkanah found himself in her tent more frequently!! The man had justification: he had rediscovered the vein of love that had initially attracted him to Hannah.
I am convinced that after one of the tent visitations Hannah woke up feeling queasy. Despite an effort to hold it down she woke up with a start and rushed out of the tent toward the ablutions but she did not reach them as her stomach heaved in a massive manner and she threw up in a massive trumpet. The unburdened woman just had had her first morning sickness!! Now the rival was quiet, she had no experience she had undergone that Hannah was not going to taste. Gone was the pain, gone was the scorn, gone was the acidic tone of voice for God had remembered Hannah.
So whatever Peninah situation we find ourselves in our focus should not be on her scorn and the children she spawns every year to spite our moment of infertility. Our focus should not be on shedding tears and starving ourselves. Our focus should be on taking our burdens to the only capable hands. Our focus should be unloading at the right platform and you have the greatest assurance the morning sickness will come!
Tomorrow, as the sun rises, count your Peninahs and laugh at them for their pain will not hurt anymore as you now know where to take your burdens.