"He (Elkanah) had two wives; one was called Hannah…."
I Samuel 1: 2, New International Version
"Hannah - Grace and Favor"
"The world never puts a price on you higher than the one you put on yourself."
Have I ever looked at myself as a person who has been showered with grace and favor?
What measuring stick have I used in my life to evaluate my worth?
What or who do I believe gives me my true worth?
"No star is ever lost we once have seen, we always may be what we might have been."
Adelaide Anne Procter
"To say something nice about themselves, this is the hardest thing in the world for people to do."
Two women. One man. One household.
As I reflected on this situation, I thought to myself, "How would I have liked to live in this environment? How would I like to share my husband, Jim, with another woman?"
Truthfully, I couldn't and wouldn't do it. It's not in my DNA to live this way. But then again, women years ago and even in many countries today, simply did not have options. Considered as nothing more than a piece of property, an acquisition made in a transaction between their fathers and potential husbands, women's lives could not have been viewed in a most futile way. And yet, with this historical background as our palette, we find women like Sarah, Rebecca, Miriam, Jochebed, Rahab, Deborah, Jael, Tamar, Ruth, Naomi, and a host of others, who not only were the backbone of their family lives, but also, in many cases, provided the spiritual leadership that proved to have a significant impact on the future of the Israelites.
Much to my delight, we're going to find out that Hannah's name will soon be added to the list of heroic women whose valiant influence reverberated down through generations of leaders in Israel.
When we began our study of all the women in the Bible, named and unnamed, I told you we would seek the answer to two specific questions as we looked at each individual woman's life.
Question #1: Why would God put this woman's story in the Bible?
Question #2: What does this woman's story have to say to me as a woman living in the 21st century?
At first glance, it could appear Hannah and Peninnah's lives might not relate to any of us in great detail. But what I have found as I studied is that nearly every woman I know has had some situation in her life where she was challenged by a female/female relationship that placed strains upon her personal life. Whether it's a workplace situation where you face the daily harassment of an overbearing female boss who instead of longing to lift you up tries to shove you down; or whether it's the conflict you face from a step-mother who may resent you; or whether it's sibling rivalry between two sisters who have little in common and a frayed band is all that holds them together - nearly every woman I've ever met has faced the difficulty that arises when females are forced to face off in situations where it is apparent there's the unfortunate potential for a winner or a loser to immerge.
As we look at what the Bible says about Hannah, especially in the first few verses of I Samuel, it's easy to come away with the conclusion that the loser is Hannah. This is why I think it is important that before we study any further about her life, we recognize her name had a special meaning for she was Hannah - "woman of grace and favor." And I ask you, "Isn't this what every daughter of God is?" I truly believe we each are filled with heavenly grace - a gift that keeps on giving to meet every need in our lives.
Hannah may look as though the hand of God had dealt her a tragic blow, but tomorrow we'll explore how some of life's most distasteful, disturbing and destructive events end up bringing us the most exuberant and fruitful times in our lives. Through all our trials, we can come away finding our value and worth was never diminished in the eyes of our Creator. If God thinks highly of you and me, then shouldn't we place the same value on ourselves and each other, no matter what we are going through.
Hannah - a woman of grace and favor - and so are you.
"And above all things, never think that you're not good enough yourself. A (woman) should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning."
"Who do people say you are?
Wife? Mother? Sister? Daughter?
Women, who do we say we are?
Wives of love and caring.
Daughters of devotion and compassion.
Mothers of nurturing and instruction.
Sisters of embracing and sharing.
Women, what do we say we are?
Valuable. Honorable. Worthy.
Courageous. Imaginative. Bold.
Daughters of the Living God
May the blessings of our Father
be on all women.
Praise to You, El Shaddai."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $10.00.
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