Christian insprirational

Never Too Old

Let us consider the case of Hannah

This year, for the first time, I was asked to write and share a Bible study. It was for a social media group called “Glory Carriers.” Our focus is on sharing God’s glory with that online community and beyond. I had never written a Bible study and felt it probably was not something I could do well. But I was encouraged by some of the sisters in that group to step into something new.

Like most major projects, I have learned there is great wisdom in seeking God’s guidance before proceeding with any endeavor. In my personal prayer time, I asked each day what I could share that would shine light on Him, His glory and encourage my cyber siblings in our individual and collective faith walks.

It really was not my intention to do a teaching about how we can still serve God as we age. However, during my morning devotionals for several weeks, I found story after story of God calling people to do His good work, regardless of age or the world’s definition of ability. Throughout my research, four women in particular stood out. They were Sarah, Hannah, Naomi and Anna the Prophetess. I encourage you to read each lady’s story by searching for them, in the Holy Bible.

All of these accounts are full of valuable lessons for us, even today. But the one I most easily related to was Hannah. Why? There are many reasons, but her tenacity to go to God each day with prayers, and her belief that He would answer her, was familiar to me. I also understood the feelings that come when you are told you are too old, not qualified and will never be able to complete a task or see the desires of your heart come into being.

You can find Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel 1:2–2:21. But below is a very brief synopsis.

You see, Hannah was childless in a culture that defined women by the ability to produce offspring. Her husband, Elkanah, had another wife named Peninnah, who bore him several children. Peninnah never let Hannah forget that she was infertile. She tormented Hannah with messages that she was not, could not and probably would never be an acceptable wife to their husband.

Despite her age, the taunting of Peninnah (and perhaps others in her community), and the worldly definition that rendered her “less than,” Hannah continued asking God for what she wanted. At one point in her pleading with God, she was accused by Eli, the temple priest, of being drunk with wine.

During her encounter with Eli, where she was dealt yet another insult, she chose to tell him the truth. She confessed that she was pouring out her heart, her pain and her desperation to the Lord. The story tells us that she was later granted her wish of conceiving and bearing a son shortly after this temple event.

Depending upon which Bible scholar you read, there are different accounts of Hannah’s age when she delivered her son, Samuel. We do know that she was past childbearing age, but this was not a barrier to God. His purpose was fulfilled as He granted the wish of His servant, Hannah.

There are other noteworthy parts of this story. It was my feeling that for this study, it was important to show Hannah as an example of an ageless women called to serve and obey God regardless of obstacles. It gave me cause to pause and recommit to doing whatever God is calling me to do for the years I have left. I pondered all the times I had been told that I am not, cannot and probably never will be or do those things I am called to do.

Of course, there is no guarantee that asking God will always yield the desires we have. But giving Him our hearts, our wills and submitting to His direction will guarantee our completeness in Him, regardless of outcome. That’s true even when writing a Bible study for the first time.

It is my prayer for whoever reads this today that if you are in a place where age, circumstances or the negative voices echoing in your heart (your own or those of another), you will take time to consider the case of Hannah. And I pray that you will always see that you are, you can and oh yes, you will.

Copyright June 2023 by Laura Padgett

If you enjoy the stories on my blog, you will love my podcast found under the podcast tab on my home page of this website.

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Check out the books I have published

“Dolores, Like the River: The Life-Altering Influence of a Mentor” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page and I will send you an autographed, personalized copy.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page and I will send a personalized copy to you.


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