Sunday, January 29, 2012

Take 5 with Kathy - "When words fail us..."

Synagogue, Krakow, Poland
Last week we left Hannah praying to God at the Tabernacle, the Jewish house of worship. As a woman, she would be allowed to enter through the main gate into the Women’s Court, but no further. It was no doubt here that she found a quiet spot where she could bare her tormented soul to God. She had made a solemn vow to Him, pleading with God to give her a son. In return, she would give him back to serve the Lord in the temple for the rest of his life.
“Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard.”[i] There have been many times in my life when my soul was in such anguish that all I could do was pray in silence. Often, only tears have been offered up when words were lost to me. It is in those times that I remember the comforting promise of Romans 8:26, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Just last week a woman shared this with me, “I remember times when dealing with infertility that I felt I just couldn’t ‘pray about it’ anymore. I had taken it to the Lord and prayed about it so much…I felt guilty about those feelings. But many years later I was sharing this in a Bible study and a dear lady said to me, ‘That is o.k. You just let the Holy Spirit and other people intercede on your behalf.’ What great relief and peace that gave to me!”
Hannah needed someone to come alongside her and offer that same comfort and reassurance. In her deep grief and loneliness of spirit, she was unaware that someone else had been watching (besides God). Sitting near the temple doorpost was Eli, the priest. Now, at first, Eli mistakenly thought Hannah’s actions indicated she was intoxicated (which was not uncommon during the sacrificial feasts, even for a woman) and he scolded her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”[ii]

How many times am I too quick to judge or accuse a person before taking time to listen to their story? When do I need to be more sensitive and put on my “listening ears”, as we often instruct our children and grandchildren to do?

Quick to vindicate herself, Hannah replied she had not been drinking, but was pouring out her anguish and grief to the Lord.

Point Pleasant Park, Halifax
Can’t you imagine the sudden change in Eli’s demeanor as he recognized his error in interpreting the situation? “Go in peace,” he answered, “and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.”[iii] I don’t need to know all the details of another person’s circumstances and pain to come alongside them and help bear the heavy burden. Sometimes, the only thing this person needs to know is that I am there for her/him, that I care, and that I am willing to intercede on their behalf, even if the only way I can do that is through prayer (which is really the best way).
I love what happened next! As soon as Hannah had received Eli’s blessing and words of encouragement, “she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.”[iv] Her deep sorrow and pain had been lifted because someone cared enough to listen and share her heavy load of grief.

While listening on Wednesday to the DVD portion of our Beth Moore study on the book of James, she shared that often when we are going through a time of anguish, God brings along a wonderful source of joy (either through a person or circumstance) and replaces the anguish with joy.[v]

That’s exactly what God did for Hannah. Not only did He provide someone to encourage her, but He blessed her with what she had asked for – a son! “She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him’”.[vi]

Not always has God give me exactly what I asked for, but He has always been faithful in providing what is best for me and what will lead me on a path to greater dependence on Him a and completeness in Christ. Praise His name!
As I’ve been writing this, a Gospel song has been singing in my head, “Tears are a language God understands” by Gordon Jensen. If you don’t know it, or want to review the words, follow the link below. It will bless your heart as it does mine![vii]

Until next Sunday,

[i] I Samuel 1:13
[ii] I Samuel 1:1
[iii] I Samuel 1:17
[iv] I Samuel 1:18
[v] Beth Moore, Mercy Triumphs, LifeWay Press, 2011, p. 69
[vi] I Samuel 1:20

Seasonal Sunday
Sunday's Best
Spiritual Sunday


Every Friday in February!
Come on over to Take Six
and warm up with some great
homemade soup recipes!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing again today, Kathy.

    Have a blessed day!
    Angie @ Knick of Time

    1. Thanks, Angie. I'm really enjoying this series and learning a lot myself through it. Glad it is a blessing to others. Have a great week! Kathy

  2. Beautiful words.
    I live close to Krakow :)

    1. Hi Pati, Glad you enjoyed my blog. We loved our trip to Eastern Europe in July, 2010. Our tour guide was a Polish woman so our few days in Poland were especially meaningful. We loved Krakow and would love to return someday. It was a very moving experience to visit the old Jewish quarter and we enjoyed exploring the Old Town Square - I bought some very beautiful handcrafted Christmas ornaments there. Thank you for visiting our blogsite. Kathy

  3. Hi Kathy,

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational post for Seasonal Sundays. Our church offered the Beth Moore Bibly study classes, but my husband and I chose to take Disciple Bibly study. We really got a lot out of those classes.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and taking time to leave a comment. Happy Seasonal Sunday!


    1. Hi Denise, Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you and hour husband are enjoying your class. Kathy

  4. Such another great inspirational post. Encouragement is something we all need on a daily basis, but sometimes get so little of. I really do enjoy this series, it really gives me pause to think. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best.

  5. Glad you're enjoying this series, Cathy. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Hi Kathy,
    I just came across your blog by doing a search of "Beth Moore Bible Studies in Halifax, Nova Scotia". I am enjoying reading your posts. I just moved here to Halifax yesterday from Ontario, and am missing my church friends and our Beth Moore Bible studies (we were in the middle of one on The Patriarchs.) Would you know of any churches or groups who might be doing one? Thank you for your help!

  7. Hi Joy,
    Welcome to Halifax! I'm glad you found our blogsite. Our church ladies group just finished Beth's study on James and I'm not sure at this point of others in the area, but I could ask around. If you would like to contact me via my gmail account please do so. Where in Ontario did you move from? Have you found a new church yet? You might like to check ours out at Glad you're enjoying my posts.


It makes our day to hear from all of our Take Six friends. We read each and every comment, and love it when you visit us!! If you ask us a question we will answer it as a 'reply' in the comment section, so be sure and check back! XO

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