A Look at Depression: Hannah

A heart of desperation is what we find in Hannah when we read her story in 1 Samuel 1.

Hannah lived in her home with her husband, Elkanah, as well as with his other wife, Peninnah and her children. Hannah had to share her husband with another woman and that woman’s children who were fathered by her own husband. How hard would that be?

And as if that isn’t bad enough, as if you wouldn’t already have a tendency to feel jealousy in your heart just because of what your husband shared, even as far as feelings for his other wife, there were also the children.

Peninnah was able to have children, and Hannah was not. The Lord had closed Hannah’s womb for some reason unknown to her and Elkanah. Hannah was desperate, she wanted children more than anything else. Month after month, year after year, she waited, hoping to become pregnant, but it didn’t happen just then.

Elkanah’s love, Penninah’s having children, and Hannah’s desire for children all became points of rivalry between these women. Peninnah taunted Hannah constantly reminding her of the fact that she had children and Hannah didn’t. It was obvious to Peninnah that Elkanah loved Hannah more than herself and it pushed her to rub in the reality of Hannah’s childlessness even more, causing more and more pain to Hannah.

It seemed that there was nothing to soothe Hannah, she was desperate. The pain of her infertility and the constant taunting sent her into deep depression. Hannah cried and cried, she suffered from loss of appetite, she was brokenhearted.

Have you ever felt desperation?

It is a feeling that seems to overwhelm you fully. You can only think about the emotional pain you feel and the unmet need or desire that seems to be constantly out of reach.

Infertility is only of many situations that can lead to desperation and depression. There are many single people desperate to be loved and to be married. There are many jobless men and women desperate to find employment to support them and their family.

When desperation goes on and on for weeks, months, and into years, one begins to feel so defeated and hopeless. Life seems impossible. And that situation can only be made worse if you are constantly bombarded by another flaunting that they have what you do not.

Our personal deep inner pain only becomes bigger and deeper when we see others having what we want. Whether it be children, a good job, or health, it only hurts more to see others living our dream. It makes us wonder more why we are left without it.

Hannah’s husband saw her deep sadness. He wanted her to be happy. He loved her whether she had children or not. But she knew in her heart the disgrace of not having children and there was nothing that could comfort her. Elkanah’s is not the only one who saw Hannah’s brokenheartedness. The Lord saw her pain also.

Psalm 34:19 says,

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Yet, when we are hurting we wonder, ‘where is God?’ There are many books written on this subject, and in the books of the Bible we see many men and women suffering greatly. And at times we see the Lord change the circumstances, or answer the prayer immediately in just the way the person requests. But that is not always true. Sometimes we must wait… and wait.
There is a song that I knew years ago, but only remember one line from it right now. This line has carried me through pain and desperation because it points me in the right direction. The line I am speaking of says this, “When you can’t see His hand trust His heart.”

I know, those words do not give you what you long for right this very minute in terms of the money, the job, or a child or whatever it is. Yet, the reality of truth is that God is a God of love. His heart is full of love!  It is this exact love that made Him send Jesus into this world to die for us and give us the opportunity to believe and be saved. It may seem to us at times that God is cruel, or the things He does just do not make sense, and we wonder why He does the things He does. Why must we wait? Why don’t things turn out the way we think is best? We have to remember that God is our loving parent, our Heavenly Father, and He knows what is best. I know all too often, that is not what we want to hear. We just want Him to make life easier and give us what we want.

I have learned that when I look to Him and trust Him to give me His best, His perfect gift in His perfect timing, it is always much better than what I thought I wanted or needed at the time.

So in the midst of our brokenheartedness, our desperation, or our depression, we must turn to the Lord and say, “Lord give me Your best, I trust Your heart of love for me.” And we must wait on Him to meet us with it in His perfect timing. We must trust His heart of love to give us the best gift for us.

He is with us in our pain and knows exactly what the longings of our hearts are. He also knows that we need the Giver more than the gift, and sometimes we lose sight of that. So today look to the Giver, our God of love, and tell Him of your desperation, and ask Him to give you His best answer. Tell Him you want His best for your life and wait patiently trusting His heart of love. He will not disappoint you!



How Will You Wait?

Advent is a time of preparation.

We prepare for Christmas in our homes.

We prepare for Christ in our hearts as we remember His birth.

There is waiting in the midst of the preparation.

We wait for gifts we ordered online to come in the mail.

We wait for the day to put up the tree.

We wait for the right time to get our baking done.

We wait for the best sales to complete our shopping.

We wait to see what special gift our loved ones will surprise us with.

There is much anticipation as we wait, whether at Christmas or any time in life.

Waiting for the perfect gift, waiting for God to bring about that transformation, waiting for the answer to our prayer, whatever it is, waiting is hard.

Isaiah 64:4 tells us something special about waiting, specifically about waiting for God. It says:

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”

God acts on behalf of those who wait for him. He wants us to wait for Him. It is when we wait for Him, and when we do not try to grab the gift before it is given, that He acts on our behalf. It is when we wait that He brings about His best plans and intentions for His children.

I want to share 4 things to remember as you wait for the Lord. We, His children, look to Him with hope and anticipation as we pray and seek His will. We desire to see Him work on our behalf.

As you wait:

1. Wait with expectation.

2. Amble forward, have slow feet.

3. Involve yourself in serving Him.

4. Trust His timing.

Wait with expectation.

When you wait for the Lord to work on your behalf, wait with expectation. His promises are real, look for Him to act. It seems that when we aren’t expecting God to act, we aren’t really believing in the possibility of what He is able to do. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians that the Lord is able to do more than we can ask or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). So, why wouldn’t we wait expectantly?

Amble forward, have slow feet.

When we wait for the Lord to work we need to amble forward, move with slow feet. It is too easy to want to try to manipulate and maneuver things into place ahead of the Lord. But take it slow, don’t rush to make it happen. When we go ahead of God we always end up with trouble. He, in his perfect wisdom, has it all under control. He knows what needs to take place in order to make it happen.

Involve yourself in serving Him.

While you wait fix your heart on serving Him. Show your love for Him by honoring Him with your service. Waiting doesn’t mean sitting idle. It doesn’t have to be a time of growing impatient and being filled with anxiety about the outcome. You can find great satisfaction in waiting on Him as you wait for Him.

Trust His timing.

While you wait, don’t fret, rest in His love, and trust His timing to be perfect. He knows exactly what you need, and exactly the precise moment you need it. He is our perfect God, He is our Father who gives good and perfect gifts. Why would we expect anything less? He gave us Jesus, the Savior of the world, our Redemption and Hope. He will not disappoint.

God’s gifts to us, His work on our behalf, always bring about deliverance, new hope, and the perfect fulfillment of His plan for our lives. We must only wait.

How will you wait?