By Alicia Lee Long

There was once a beautiful young lady who lived a wonderful life with her husband. She had everything she could dream of – a man that loved and honoured God, who helped her in every way possible and who gave her lots of smiles, hugs and kisses. Whenever she was sad, he would cheer her up. One of his favourite things to say to her when she was upset was, “Ohhh darling Hannah, but don’t you realise that you have me?! Aren’t I enough to bring you joy?”

But there was one problem that Hannah faced every day and this problem began to make her sadder and sadder. For you see, the problem was that she still did not have a baby. Oh how she longed to have a child that she could love and adore, a child to look after and to help him or her grow, and of course, a child to play with and enjoy lots of laughter with! Oh what fun they would all have!

“Elkanah,” Hannah would say with such deep sadness in her voice, “I just want a baby. Why can’t I be blessed with a baby like many other mothers are?”

The time came for Elkanah and Hannah to attend the yearly Feast of Tabernacles. This was a special 8 day holiday that God wanted His People to have every year and it was a time to be festive! The dates of the Feast would usually fall around the beginning of Autumn, when the people would be reaping the rewards of their hard work for the year – their harvests. God told His People to rejoice in their blessings! To feast on all kinds of food and drink in gratitude the way He had blessed them throughout the year. It was a time to let go of all the worries in the world.

But there was one worry that Hannah could not let go of, even at this wonderful Feast. There she was, sitting at a beautifully set long table, laden with all kinds of exotic fruits, vegetables, nuts and meats. Special drinks were flowing and people were laughing and dancing. But she wasn’t laughing or dancing because she had heard mean words from other ladies.

I imagine that on the day, before the delicious lunch was being shared by everybody, a lady called Peninnah may have asked Hannah why she didn’t have a baby yet. But she did not say it in a nice and kind way at all! She said it in a mean way, which hurt Hannah’s feelings. I imagine that Penninah began to giggle at Hannah, perhaps telling her that she was forgotten by God.

Hannah felt absolutely awful. She got up from the lunch table and ran towards the temple. In those days, the temple was not visited by anyone at any time. It was only visited at special times of the day with special purpose twice a day, as told to the people by God. But on this day, Hannah had a great big longing in her heart to speak to God herself. On her way into the temple, she did not even stop to talk to the priest, Eli ! She ran straight into the temple and knelt down on her knees in sadness and hopelessness, tears were pouring down her face and she began to pray quietly to God.

Eli saw the young woman run straight into the temple without a care to greet him and he was perplexed. Why would a young woman come to the temple at a time that was not appropriate? He slowly walked on over towards her and noticed that her lips were moving quickly. He furrowed his brows. Finally he said to Hannah, “Excuse me, but have you had too much wine today?”

Hannah turned to Eli and said, “Oh no my lord! I certainly have not! I am in distress. My heart is in a lot of pain…” She began to tell Eli all about her troubles. Eli’s heart softened towards her and he felt great compassion for her. By the end of her story, Eli blessed Hannah and said, “May God grant you what you have asked for.”

Would you believe that about one year later Hannah sure did have a little baby! She received from God her heart’s desire. She had poured her heart out to God and expressed all her sadness and all her worry to Him, and God had made sure to look after her and to comfort her and to bring her joy. He answered her prayer. Hannah named her precious new baby Samuel.


The original illustrations are the copyright of Sweet Publishers and these digitally adjusted compilations of them the copyright of FreeBibleimages.  

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