We are apt to think that as a Christian we should always be thankful for what we have. To have disappointment is a spiritual failure that means we haven’t obeyed God enough, or that we don’t think God is enough, or that we are unable to trust God’s plan.
I think it is not always the case.
When I read 1 Samuel 1, Hannah’s prayer made me think. She had a loving husband and yet she is still filled with grief, she was bothered by Peninah’s mockery and she was not consoled by what Elkanah said that he still loves her. Hannah instead went to the temple and prayed, like one drunk, asking God to give her a son. At that moment, If I had been Hannah friend, I might have rebuked her and asked her to be see the blessings that she had in life and stop whining, spend her time ministering to the widow or to take care orphans. But God didn’t think the way I do. Instead of telling Hannah to go home and be thankful, God heard her prayer and answered it. God honored her faith, her disappointment and her brokenness that was poured out before him. God honored Hannah’s honest, persistent desire.
I have told myself that I should be thankful for what I have and see God’s blessing in my life. To stop asking for relationship and focus what God has given me. This is a good spiritual discipline, yet sometimes at night, or when I see people getting engaged or married, I felt the pang of desire. The ache of unfulfilled longing. At that time, I am reminded of Hannah’s prayer. I am reminded that it is okay to ask God for what we want. Even when we are not sure if that is God’s will for us. We come to God because we know He cares for us. He loves us, and we can be honest with God regarding our longing and desire. We can cry out to him, we can pour out our heart before him.
O LORD look upon me and hear my prayer, there is no hope for me on earth but you. I want nothing that is not from you. I want your good and perfect gifts. O LORD if it is not from You, it is not mine. I don’t want anything that is not from You. Open your hand and satisfy the desires of our heart. O LORD your love endures.