“Year after year it was the same
Peninnah would taunt Hannah
as they went to the Tabernacle.
Each time,
Hannah would be reduced to tears
and would not even eat.”
~1 Samuel 1:7 NLT

Have you ever been picked on?

Year after YearWell, I sure have. At school, it started in Kindergarten with a girl named… well you shouldn’t give names, so let’s just call her ‘Nasty Nancy’. Nasty Nancy was relentless. She would sometimes trick me into believing she wanted to be my friend when she was just working her schemes, usually ending with me looking like the fool.

One of the most memorable was Grade 2 Picture Day. Nasty Nancy and a group of girls were all talking when she called me to join their circle. I was thrilled to be included and ran over. She made some comment like “Aren’t you all dressed up”. Wrongly mistaking her words as a compliment, I proudly told how my mom had made my dress and put curlers in my hair the night before {Yes, I know, I’m dating myself with the curlers comment, I know}. At which point, Nasty Nancy jumped in the puddle and splashed mud all over me. I ran away in tears as all the girls laughed. If a basement flood wouldn’t have destroyed much of my childhood photos you could still see the mud all over my socks in the class picture… mud and a really bad curling job.

This week’s verse highlights a woman named Hannah. She knew all too well what it was like to be picked on. Hannah lived in a situation that seemed like it would never change. Scripture tells us how Hannah was married to a guy named Elkanah. Back then, Jewish tradition—not Scripture, taught that when a couple married; if the wife had not produced a child by their tenth anniversary, the husband was to take another wife, so his family line would live on.1


It was probably at the ten-year mark when Elkanah married Peninnah and the two women became rivals. Peninnah was cruel and took every opportunity she could to “taunt Hannah and make fun of her”2 because she couldn’t have children. The most difficult of times took place as the family all went to sacrifice in the temple—our equivalent would be going to church. I worry this is how it feels for girls struggling with infertility or single women at church on Mother’s Day Sunday.


All this devastated Hannah and she “would be reduced to tears”, not be able to eat. This one day, Hannah was crying so hysterically the priest Eli thought she was drunk. She broke because, “year after year it was the same”. She was left wondering, ‘Will it ever change?’ Then, one day in an act of sheer desperation, Hannah begged God to make her a deal. She asked God to give her a son and promised that in turn she would give the child back to God for service in the temple. When telling Eli this covenant she made with God, he prayed a prayer of blessing over Hannah’s life and she gave birth to a baby boy named Samuel, who became one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

After fulfilling her vow to give her son back to God, the Lord blessed Hannah with five more kids!4

If your testimony has been the same as Hannah’s, “Year after year it was the same”, and you find it hard to believe change will ever come your way, understand like Hannah did that only God can heal this deep of a hurt. I encourage you to bring your anguish to God and see what He will do. God’s Word promises that He “is able to do immeasurably more” than you could ever ask or imagine, so ask Him.


Father… Thank you for allowing the Bible to include stories of people’s lives that don’t have a pretty bow tied on top, so I can relate and learn from them. Break any mindset in me that has given up hope because it’s been the same “year after year”. Please help me to keep an abundance mindset and live in faith, believing you will work on my behalf. Let my thoughts, dreams and imaginations line up with Yours. Thank you for reminding me of Hannah and how Your power is at work in the most broken. You’re at work in me, so breakthrough is on its way! In Jesus Name…Amen


Song:  Home
Makes Me Feel: Hopeful, Encouraged
Sung By: Chris Tomlin
Website: https://www.christomlin.com/
CD: Never Lose Sight
Written By: Jason Ingram, Jonas Myrin, Chris Tomline, Ed Cash
© 2016
Label: sixstepsrecords
Official Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIb4NC5ikYo
AZ Lyrics: https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/christomlin/home.html
My favorite lines as recorded on AZ Lyrics (link above):

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2aMb1asq5acm7cDYlFsYhY?si=lyBFJ-gQRNW5sZWuqzuSkA


Soul H2O bookIf you liked the refreshing in this #SoulH2O devotion, you’ll love my latest Soul H2O Devotional book: 40 Thirst Quenching Devotions for Women.

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Drawing From The Well

1 1 Samuel 1:6-7, 2:21 NLT
2 Psalm 102:4
3 Isaiah 42:9, 43:19
4 Isaiah 51:3
5 Ephesians 3:20
6 2 Corinthians 9:8

1 https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/peninnah-midrash-and-aggadah Website Accessed: 2018-07-16
2 1 Samuel 1:6 NLT
3 1 Samuel 1:7 NLT
4 1 Samuel 2:21

Sherry Stahl