May 22, 2017
Hannah cried out to the Lord. The Lord had closed her womb, and she begged God to give her a son.
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
1 Samuel 1:10-17
Earlier this week a friend of mine told me about a sermon she heard about Hannah. Hannah cried out to God in her distress. We can be challenged to do the same: go to God first when we feel sorrow.
So one evening this weekend, I sat by the fire in my backyard, all by myself, and I cried out to God. A sense of loneliness had reminded me that no human being can meet all my needs. No person can know the depths of my heart. No person can care enough about all my emotional stuff. No one is able to be the perfect spouse. Or friend. Or child.
I sat there crying, looking at the trees, feeling His nearness. I prayed, “I’m crying out to You, Lord. Like Hannah did. What am I crying out to You for….? For belonging. For peace. I need to know that You ‘get me,’ when no one else does. My heart has no one to call 'home.' But I know You see the depths of my heart and You just understand. Thank You for being that kind of Friend.”
The next day I still felt adrift, wanting to know I belonged, needing a kindred spirit. So I went to my room and got on my knees and just concentrated on being with Jesus. I pictured walking with Him through trees with cherry blossoms. I pictured looking at the ocean with Him. I thanked Him for not needing me to explain myself to Him. I remembered that He sees me down to the depths of my heart.
As I prayed I was reminded of a poem by Jill Briscoe.
The Deep Place Where Nobody Goes
I ran to the Deep Place where nobody goes,
and found Him waiting there. “Where have you been?” He asked me. “I’ve been in the shallow place where everyone lives,” I replied.
I knew He knew.
He just wanted me to admit I’d been too busy being busy. “I’m running out…” I began. “Of course,” He said. “I haven’t seen you in a while.” He sat down on the steps of my soul and smiled at me.
Angels sang; a shaft of light chased away the shadows
and brightened my daily day. I smiled back. “I’m such a fool…” “Shhh,” He said, putting His finger on my lips. He touched my hurried heart.
Startled, it took a deep breath and skidded to a near stop.
My spirit nestled into nearness
in the Deep Place where nobody goes. My soul spoke, then: He answered with words beyond music. Where on Earth had I been?
Dwelling there with Him for a few minutes. Letting Him love on me and quiet my soul.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
I am so thankful that no one can satisfy the longings of my heart. It drives me to God, crying out to Him when I am in distress. Then He fills my emptiness and reminds me that my security comes from Christ alone. I am His.