“…why are you weeping? Why are you not eating? Why are you so miserable? Am I not better for you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)
In the biblical story, Elkanah had two wives named Hannah and Peninnah, but only Hannah was barren. Peninnah used her status as a “mother of sons and daughters” to provoke and torment Hannah because she viewed her as a rival. Seeing what was going on, Elkanah gave “a double portion to Hannah because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:5).
When we are provoked, it’s easy to devalue the close relationships we enjoy with our spouse and other best friends. I guess it’s because the power of the moment gets our focus fixed on what we lack rather than on all that we have. For me, it was like a giant microscope was shoved into my face every time I had to deal with a pregnancy announcement. My grief forced me to peer down a tube at this giant hole in my soul, blinding me to the daily favor I enjoy as a child of God.
And speaking of God, the same questions could be posed in a different way: Isn’t our relationship with the Lord better for us than ten sons? And where in our lives has God given us a “double portion” because we are so deeply loved?
It’s something to think about this Thanksgiving, as we count our blessings.
Dorothy Williams lives near Chicago. She enjoys time spent with her family in Christ.