“O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways.” – Proverbs 23:26.
Have you ever sat down with someone and listened to them pour their heart out about something in their lives. If you have, you know that it is a special moment. A bond forms. A closeness grows. But in order to open your heart to another person you must trust that person. It requires a trust that the other person will be a good listener, will care and be empathetic. And will work and be with you to help you overcome whatever you are facing.
God wants our trust. God offers to be our refuge–the place where we can find understanding, compassion and wisdom. He wants us to tell Him what is on our minds. He invites us to talk to Him about anything and everything; especially the times when it requires us to be completely open and honest before Him. He wants us to pour our heart out to Him.
The Old Testament book of Samuel introduces us to Hannah: a godly woman who had some problems. Her problems weren’t brief and they weren’t simple and they made her feel empty and frustrated. Hannah experienced infertility and she also had a complicated relationship with a rival-wife. Hannah’s husband had two wives. While having two wives was a cultural norm at the time, as you might guess it was complicated. (Read 1 Samuel 1-2 for the full story of Hannah.)
Hannah didn’t pretend to be okay. She openly admitted, “…I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:15). 1 Samuel 1:10 says,”Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.” She took her burdens directly to God. Hannah didn’t just briefly bend a knee, she poured out her soul. She poured out her sorrow, her disappointments, her frustrations, her depression, her confusion, her anger, her embarrassments, her anguish and her grief. She poured out her emptiness. She wanted a son and God remembered her plea. God gave her a son.
Before she spent time with the Lord, Hannah had lost her appetite and was filled with despair. After she poured out her soul to God, the Bible shows us that her appetite returned and her countenance had changed. “Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.” (1 Samuel 1:18)
God is faithful. He longs to fill our souls with peace regardless of the circumstances we face. Hannah was changed, but realize this: Hannah didn’t just do a “drive thru” prayer time with God. She parked there for a while and did some serious business with Him.
- Can you relate to Hannah? In what way?
- How does one go about pouring out their heart to God?
- Do you look at pouring your heart out to God as an act of worship? Why or why not?
- What can we do this week to move closer to God?