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When God Withholds His Blessing

1 Samuel 1:2 Elkanah had two wives. One wife was named Hannah and the other wife was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.

God is a God of blessing, amen? Absolutely. We can all chime in with a hearty AMEN to that one. And yet, sometimes God withholds His blessings. And sometimes the withholding of that one thing, that one breakthrough that we so desperately need, causes a lot of pain and distress.

I imagine for a woman who desperately wants a child, whose body clock is ticking and yet can’t fall pregnant, that this withholding of God’s blessing must be one of the most excruciating experiences imaginable.

Such was the plight of Hannah in the Old Testament – only for her, the delay of God’s blessing had an even more hurtful twist:

1 Samuel 1:2 Elkanah had two wives. One wife was named Hannah and the other wife was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.

And didn’t Peninnah rub it in. Year after year Hannah had to live with the ignominy of her inability to do the right thing and bear children – and this in a society where the number of children you had was seen as a key measure of the degree of blessing that God was prepared to pour out on your life.

In the world’s eyes, clearly, Hannah must have done something wrong, something to offend God. You can just feel her pain, can’t you?

But read on and we discover that eventually, Hannah does have a son – the Prophet Samuel – who goes on to play a crucial role not only in the history of Israel but in establishing the succession line which leads ultimately to the birth of the Saviour of the world, Jesus.

Sometimes God’s plans to bless others involves suffering on our part. That’s a hard truth to swallow, but it’s the truth nevertheless. If not for Hannah, who knows where we’d be now?

God’s plan is a good plan, even if, for a while, it hurts.

That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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