When someone else is hurting, a natural tendency (especially, let me say, for us men) is to try and fix the problem – to come up with a solution – and if not a solution, then certainly a rationale for explaining the problem away. Yeah, how well has that worked out for you so far?
So we’re continuing again today with Hannah’s story – a childless woman who was hurting. As many a woman who’s been there will tell you, there was a biological and emotional void in her life that could only be filled by one thing; a child of her own. Let’s pick up her story:
1 Samuel 1:6-8 Peninnah always upset Hannah and made her feel bad because the LORD had not made her able to have children. This happened every year when their family went to the LORD’s house at Shiloh. Peninnah would upset Hannah so much that she would begin to cry and would not eat anything. One year when this happened, her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why are you so sad? You have me. Isn’t that better than having even ten sons?”
We dealt with Peninnah yesterday – a nasty piece of work if ever there was one. And we’ve seen how Elkanah tried to love Hannah through her pain. But here, quite frankly – and men, husbands, listen up – he was being an oaf.
Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why are you so sad? You have me. Isn’t that better than having even ten sons?
Elkanah, seriously? You’re making this about you?
Come on guys, the last thing she needs in the middle of a hurt so deep that we can’t begin to comprehend it, is self-centred, male logic. She just needs you to be there. She just needs you to understand. She just needs you to protect her and hold her. That’s it.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.