Summary: This message encourages people to get up out of their depression and loneliness in order to discover something new God may be trying to do in their lives.
Hannah, They Got Up
How many of you remember the person who taught you how to ride a bicycle? How many of you remember either your foot slipping off the pedal and you stopping, or you going wobbly and hit something, or you simply fell down when you tried? A couple of us took off the first time we were given a little push, but most of us did not make a successful ride on our very first try. But something told us get up and try it again. We did and some of us rode off.
But some of us had to get up and try it again before we finally rode that bicycle. Now if you looked at us today, you can’t tell which of us fell down or how many times we fell down. All you know is that we can ride a bicycle. The key in learning to ride a bicycle is not dwelling on how many times did you fall, but rather remembering, how many times you got back up until you finally drove off.
Everybody here has been pushed down a couple of times in life by some thing or by someone. We grow up and there’s a bully pushing us down. Sometimes by their physical force and other times by their words. We have circumstances that come in our lives that we have no control over, and they knock us down. We didn’t see the illness or the disease coming that would knock us down. We couldn’t see the divorce or separation on the horizon even though we were having problems so it knocked us down. We certainly didn’t expect to lose our job when we were doing such a good job for the company, so it also knocked us down.
We had no idea that one stupid choice we made was going to put us in the situation we found ourselves in. But boy that thing really knocked us down. There is something that is here now or something that is coming in the future that is going to knock us down, and there’s nothing we can do to make sure our lives are free of knock downs.
The one thing we should not do is to confuse a knock down with a knock out. Just because a great boxer is knocked down does not mean he has lost the boxing match. It’s not the knock down that determines the winner. It’s how long you’re down that’s going to matter. Because if you get knocked down in the ring and you’re still moving, all that happens is the referee starts to count to 10. If you’re back on your feet before the number 10 comes out of his mouth, you’re back in the fight.
We are launching a new series today with the theme, “They got up.” We will look at different men and women in the bible who got knocked down through a variety of circumstances and ended up being greatly blessed by God because, “they got up”. They were people just like us who ran into some heartache and disappointments in life, but they got back up.
The first person we are going to look at is woman by the name of Hannah. Hannah’s name means grace. She had captured the heart of Elkanah, and knew that he wanted her to be his wife. She was so excited about the marriage and the many children they would have. Her future looked so promising. No doubt they had a wonderful wedding ceremony in the joining of their families. They began their lives together, and they truly loved each other. It all started out so well.
The problem started about a year in the marriage, when people started asking, “when is that little boy going to start coming along”. She would joke with the women and say, “oh we’re working on it.” They kept working on it, but there was no pregnancy.
Hannah started feeling downcast and depressed. Why isn’t she getting pregnant? Now you have to understand that at this time in history, the pressure on a young woman to produce not only a child, but even more so a son, was enormous. It was proof of God’s blessing on your relationship.
A woman who did not have a child for her husband was thought to be under a curse. When Hannah and Elkanah walked out together, people were whispering behind their back. “I wonder what’s wrong with them. They ought to have had some kids by now.” This thing started to eat at both of them. No doubt when their families got together and Elkanah’s brothers were bragging about how many sons they had, it made Elkanah envious.
When Hannah’s sisters produced another child, it only added to Hannah’s periods of doubt and discouragement. She was about ready to try anything to get beyond this point in her life. Certainly she had prayed about it, but nothing seemed to be happening.