Stand up or keep sitting?

By Dave Henning / September 22, 2023

“You’ve attempted to fix your problem, control it, ignore it, diminish it, and dismiss it.  You’ve even allowed yourself to wallow in it.  And now it’s all led to a desperate moment where you have to decide if you’ll keep sitting or if you’ll stand up.  Hannah stood up and went to pray.”- Kyle Idleman

“Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray.  Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance to the Tabernacle.  Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.”- 1 Samuel 1:9-10 (NLT)

Kyle Idleman concludes Chapter 3 of When Your Way Isn’t Working as he stresses that the phrase “got up” communicates more than posture – standing up from a seated position.  Rather, the text tells us that Hannah was fed up with living that way.

In addition, Pastor Idleman notes the double use of the Hebrew bakah in 1 Samuel 1:10.  That usage indicates more than simply the presence of tears.  Most significantly, it describes a loud weeping or even wailing.  Because, Kyle observes, sometimes the level of discouragement exceeds our vocabulary.

As a result, Hannah’s discouragement leads to desperation.  Hence, she cries out to God.  As the author stated before, our emotions move us somewhere.  In Hannah’s case, she allowed her discouragement to drive her to connection.  Therefore, as Hannah tells Eli in 1 Samuel 1:15 — “But I am very discouraged, and I poured out my heart to the LORD.”

In conclusion, Pastor Idleman comments on Hannah’s actions:

“The order of things here is interesting.  After Hannah cries out to God, she feels better. . . .  Don’t miss this: her discouraging circumstances have not changed, but her connection with God has. . . .  Discouragement can do one of two things: it can drive us away from God or draw us closer to him. . . . This can be a chapter in your story where you cry out to God, put your hope in him, and then, with his strength, keep moving forward.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you stand up rather than keep sitting?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Anger often comes out sideways”

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Dave Henning

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