If you ever experienced the cloud of darkness that enters into your mind and heart, then you’ll understand the story from the Bible tonight. The World Health Organization has declared depression as the second most common cause of disability worldwide. Teenagers as well as adults today are struggling with depression.
In the world young Hannah was married to a man, Elkanah, who loved her greatly. Unfortunately, she was barren. In this age women were ashamed and looked down on if they could not bear children. Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah, was fertile and bearing children.
1 Samuel 1:1-2,6-7,10,12-14,18 NLT
There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.
Peninnah, cruelly mocked Hannah for her inability to have children. It went on year after year. Eventually reducing Hannah to tears and loss of her appetite.
“So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. 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.” (Verses 6-7)
Poor Hannah was even mocked by the priest, Eli, who misunderstood, her silent and tearful prayer for drunkenness. So he rebuked this depressed and grieving woman.
Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD. As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” (Verses 12-14)
After explaining that she wasn’t drunk but praying sincerely in her pain. Eli, blessed her and she went away no longer sad.
“Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.” (Verse 18)
Do you know that God loves you, cares for you, will provide for you, and listens to you when you pray? Research has shown that belief in a loving caring God has greater impact than even medication. We should be grateful for the medication for treating depression. However, knowing that God cares for you brings hope in seasons of despair.
Avail yourself of the incredible privilege of prayer; never underestimate, the power of prayer. Above all never doubt God’s love and care for you!