Even though Hannah was honored by her husband with a double portion, she could not enjoy it because she was so tormented by her adversary. How could God allow this? Notice it was God, not the devil, who closed Hannah’s womb. Why? I believe God closed it to create a divine hunger in Hannah, one greater than a child could satisfy, one only He could fulfill. (Lisa Bevere, Discover Your Inner Beauty, 65)
How long have you been hungry for the things you ask of God? Has your hunger changed? Are you seeking a temporary satisfaction or are you seeking to be filled by God?
Bevere’s quote above easily applies to women longing for a child but it can apply to anything you are seeking from God. Are you seeking relief from or answers to your pain or loneliness? To the unjust actions of others toward you or toward someone else? What do you see as the outcome of your request?
Year after year she [Hannah] prayed for a son. At first her motive might have been, “God, give me a son for my husband’s name sake.” Then it may have changed to, “God, give me a son because of my adversary.” But when it became, “God, give me a son, and I will give him to You,” God gave to her the desire of her heart. (Bevere, 66)
Watch out. You may be tempted to read that and think “oh, if I pray and say I will give this child (or whatever it is you are asking for) back to God, he’ll give it to me.” As I tell my kids, it’s not your behavior, it’s your attitude that makes a difference.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Yes, I believe God wants to give his children the desires of their heart. As a mom, there is no better joy than seeing my kids excited about getting something they have longed for. But when their desire is against God’s will, I pray they will not receive it because I know that the struggles that follow will be much more painful than the shallow desire of wanting it. And it may not be the object itself but their motive for wanting it that makes all the difference.
What are you hungry for? Is your desire bringing you closer to God? Are you childishly demanding your way or are you seeking to know God more intimately through your growing hunger?