“And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.” 1 Samuel 1:6
Hannah, Samuel’s mother, was suffering from the harshness of Peninnah because she was unable to have a child. Hannah’s anguish is clear as you read 1 Samuel 1. Hannah was angry, filled with worry, wept, wouldn’t eat, was grieved, was in bitterness of soul, and had a sorrowful spirit. Certainly, her desire to have a child precipitated some of these emotions, but Peninnah’s harshness also played a tremendous role.
Someone said, “Bullying is an intentional behavior that hurts, harms, or humiliates someone, either physically or emotionally, and can happen while at school, in a community, family, or online.”
Hannah’s response is a great way for us to handle times when we have been wounded by the words and actions of others. Hannah expressed her actions to Eli, “I have been pouring my soul out before the Lord; I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” Hannah went to the Lord and “in her distress, she prayed” (1 Samuel 1:15,16).
How wonderful it is to be able to take all of our cares and cast them upon one who was “despised and rejected of men a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). He not only understands our hurts, and cares about our hurts, but He has the power to comfort and strengthen us through the heartache harshness can bring.