COFFEE & JESUS
A couple months ago, we went through a sermon series “When Pigs Fly”. The series focused on God doing the impossible and about us believing in miracles. Our Pastor preached one morning from 1 Samuel 1 about the miracle of Hannah being blessed with a child. The message was great but I want to focus on and discuss something that caught my attention from the passage.
Verse 6 of chapter 1 says this, “Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.” Now isn’t that usually how life seems to work? We’ve all heard some form of the saying “Kicking a person while they are down”. When you are down about a circumstance in your life (especially one that you have no control over as in Hannah’s situation), that is when the world seems to pile on to you and kick you while you are down.
We have likely had those types of people in our lives that just love to make comments and remarks when things are not going our way. They love to make a situation worse and especially at your expense.
But what if the person kicking you, is yourself? What if your rival is not another “person” but rather are the thoughts you think or the way you feel about your circumstance or situation? The world rival being used here comes from the Hebrew word tsarah, which means adversary.
Tsarah is a form of the word tsar meaning tightness (i.e. figuratively meaning trouble). Some other synonyms for this word are: adversity, affliction, anguish, distress, tribulation.
What I want us to grasp and really understand is that we can be our own rivals. You’ve heard the saying, “You are your own worst enemy”. Sometimes (if not most) we can be harsher on ourselves than other people can be to us. We can allow our situation to overwhelm us and then we begin to allow the adversity, anguish, distress, etc. to hold us back from moving forward.
In those difficult seasons and moments, we tend to believe or feel that we are alone and no one even notices what we are going through. I could believe at some point this is how Hannah felt. So if you have ever felt this way or maybe feel that way now, I want you to know that you are not alone! There is a God in heaven that is with you and has not forgotten you.
Even though that truth may be difficult for us to believe at times, I want us to look at two more verses from Hannah’s situation. “In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord…” (1 Samuel 1:10). Hannah did not allow her rival (the person nor the emotion) to stand between her and the Lord. She continued to pray and cry out to Him.
Sometime later, while not allowing anything to stop her from praying to and worshiping the Lord she is blessed with a child and in verse 19 it says, “the Lord remembered her.”
What I want you to know is that the Lord remembers you. He loves you and cares for you. No matter our circumstances or the situation that we find ourselves in, the Lord cares for us!
So whether you are dealing with a difficult person or difficult feelings, you are not alone!