When You’re Stuck in the Middle
But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord…I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.'” (I Samuel 1:15-16 excerpted)
Are you one of those people? You can’t stand it—you flip to the back of a book or fast forward in the movie, to check for a happy ending!
The middle of the story is a confusing and often painful place. Tidy stories have beginnings, middles and happy endings. But real life is seldom tidy and doesn’t always end happily. The Bible contains a story that opens up right in a very painful middle. It’s the story of a woman named Hannah. Hannah was loved by her husband but suffered from infertility. Her husband had another wife who produced heir after heir for him and she bullied Hannah terribly.
In her despair, Hannah stopped eating and went to pray at the entrance of the place of worship. As she prayed “in deep anguish, crying bitterly” a priest saw her praying and accused her of being drunk! “Oh no, sir!’ she replied. ‘I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord…I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow'” (I Samuel 1:15, 16 excerpted).
Are there anguished disappointments in your life which feel like full stops? That, like Hannah, have come to define you—either in your eyes or in the eyes of others? God doesn’t see us or our circumstances with our eyes. He sees the full picture of His plans crafted out of His redeeming love for us.
In the middle, God invites us to come close and pour out our hearts to Him, even the mad, confused feelings (Psalm 62:8) Read Hannah’s story in the Bible book of I Samuel 1 to see how God finished her story and for encouragement to believe Him for yours.