15 Mar Who wins the battle when I feel stuck?
Read 1 Samuel 1 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: The Church is the place to turn when I feel stuck!
Hannah was in a difficult place. Despite having a strong personal faith, she felt both stuck and misunderstood. While she lived in a culture that placed an extremely high value on having a large number of children, Hannah was unable to have any. Even worse, she lived in a family structure where she was continually reminded of this. Rather than the people around her rallying to her side and supporting her, she was pestered and teased. Pretty soon, she was trapped in a cycle where she was “reduced to tears and would not even eat.” For Hannah, things seemed pretty bleak… and she had no idea God would ultimately make her the mother of Samuel, Israel’s final Judge.
Fortunately, Hannah’s story did not end with tears and solitude. In her greatest time of need, as she felt stuck and directionless, Hannah did not stay home and isolate. Instead, she went to the entrance of the Tabernacle (essentially, this was her church) to pray. To be clear, Hannah did not put on fancy makeup, pretending like everything was OK. Instead, she arrived as an emotional mess: tears and all. And – because she was so honest and vulnerable, she was able to find a path forward. After meeting with the priest Eli, Hannah was given encouragement to “Go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of Him.”
What about us? At times when life seems to make no sense, do we find ourselves isolating and feeling stuck? Let’s learn the lesson of Hannah: even in her darkest hour, she was willing to show up at church to pray and ask for help. No matter how messed up or confusing life feels today, we can always reach out to other Christians for support. We don’t need to feel like we have all the answers or wear our Sunday best. Rather, the Church is the place we can turn to at all times, even when we feel like a total mess!
Pastors Stan and David