It would be very easy to dismiss Elkanah’s questioning of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 v8 as a sign of him being grossly insensitive and unsympathetic to her obvious and deep sorrow over being childless. Surely, he shouldn’t have needed to ask why Hannah was weeping and not eating? Surely, he should have known why she was downhearted?But, to dismiss his questioning as a sign of insensitivity or a lack of sympathy would not only be unfair to Elkanah, it would also mean that we miss the challenge that this dialogue between the couple brings to us as the bride of Christ.The fact is that Elkanah was not an inconsiderate husband to Hannah. On the contrary, Elkanah was a loving and kind husband. When he divided up the meat on the day of sacrifice, “he gave Hannah a double portion because he loved her and the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Sam 1:5). A more careful consideration of the facts reveals that his questioning of Hannah about the extent of her sorrow was not a sign of his insensitivity towards her struggle with her childless state, but rather a sign of his justified bemusement and disappointment over her lack of appreciation of his great love for her, over how she failed to find adequate solace in possessing such a good husband. This is something we see most clearly in his final question to her: “Don’t I mean more to you than 10 sons?”, he asks her. Or put another way : “Doesn’t my great love for you make up for all the other things you lack?”Do we see, Elkanah is not dismissing or being insensitive to Hannah’s heartache; he is just shocked & saddened that it has the ability to rob her of so much joy (v8 & 10) and blind her to the wonderful blessing that she does possess in him?
As we consider Hannah’s response to childlessness, let us examine how we respond to the disappointments of life. Do we ever become so downcast or bitter that we fail to see how loving and considerate a bridegroom we have in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we ever fail to appreciate the wonder and blessing of possessing His great care and all sufficient provision (Ephesians 1:3)? Do we ever fail to realise that Jesus truly is “like an apple tree amongst the trees of the forest” (Song of Songs 2:3), and that there really is no greater thing than knowing the “husband” we already possess?
As we face the disappointments that have already come and which are surely yet to come; my prayer is that they will never cloud out the wonder and beauty of the Saviour; that they will never stop us from seeing and rejoicing in our loving and considerate bridegroom. My prayer is that despite the disappointments of this life, we would never be so downcast that we would not appreciate and enjoy the deep and real comfort of possessing & knowing Jesus, who is indeed worth more than the “10 sons” we lack. Amen.

For the joys and for the sorrows
The best and worst of times
For this moment, for tomorrow
For all that lies behind
Fears that crowd around me
For the failure of my plans
For the dreams of all I hope to be
The truth of what I am

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus
(Repeat)

For the tears that flow in secret
In the broken times
For the moments of elation
Or the troubled mind
For all the disappointments
Or the sting of old regrets
All my prayers and longings
That seem unanswered yet

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus
(Repeat)

For the weakness of my body
The burdens of each day
For the nights of doubt and worry
When sleep has fled away
Needing reassurance
And the will to start again
A steely-eyed endurance
The strength to fight and win

For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus
For this I have Jesus, I have Jesus
(Repeat)
Notices and Points for PrayerLet us thank God for bringing Chris Rogers amongst us on Sunday and for the encouragement and challenge he gave. Please continue to pray that both the church & Chris himself would know if it is the Lord’s will that he take on the role of interim pastor in September.
Please also pray that the leadership will know how best to move forward as regards the re-opening of the church building. Please pray that we will know when it is both safe and right to do so.
Gill Keen is organising a walk (6 miles & mostly flat) on Saturday 5th June, leaving her house at 12pm. If you are interested in joining her please message her on 07894430203 before 8pm on Friday 4th.  
With love in Christ
Rich
–Richard Jenkins 1cor6v11@gmail.com; 07761979015

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