We meet Hannah in the first chapter of 1 Samuel. She was married to Elkanah, who was also married to Peninnah. Verse two tells us, “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.” Scripture says that Elkanah loved Hannah and gave her an extra portion of food. But Peninnah teased her about not having any children.
Hannah longed for a child! She prayed, wept, and would not eat because her desire for a child was so great. Eli was the priest at this time and he noticed Hannah praying at the temple one day. Eli thought she was drunk (1:13)! She explained to Eli that she had been praying. When Hannah had a burden, she prayed. EM Bounds wrote, “…trouble, no matter from what source it comes, becomes in God’s hand his own agent to accomplish his gracious work concerning those who submit patiently to him, who recognize him in prayer, and who work together with God.”
Eli told Hannah that her prayers would be answered. Hannah got up, ate, and was happy. Her gratitude began immediately. She didn’t wait for her prayer to be answered; she was grateful that God heard her request. She trusted in the promise of a son. Verse twenty says, “And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord.’”
Hannah continued to praise the Lord and made a vow to Him, that she would give her son to His service. She kept her son until he was weaned (probably about three years old), then turned him over to Eli the priest. She said to Eli, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord” (1:26-28).
Her gratitude flows from her lips as an offering of praise to God for the gift of Samuel. She is faithful to give him to God’s service.
Like Hannah, we can also show gratitude to God for His promises and His provision. Take time today to thank Him. Even if you are in the midst of suffering, praise Him!