The closer you are to people, the more you’re affected by their sin. And there are no people you're closer to than your own family members.
1 Samuel 1:1-8
If you’re the member of a family, you will experience pain. It’s a given. Families are the testing ground for learning—or not learning—to deal with hurts, angers, jealousies, provocations, and the disappointments of life. The closer we are to people, the more we’re affected by their sin. And there’s no place closer than the family unit: those we care about the most can hurt us the most.
Hannah and Peninnah are caught in a family where each of them lack something of huge value. Peninnah has children, but lacks the love of her husband Elkanah. Hannah has his love, but is barren. Both women are deeply hurt, but deal with it differently. Peninnah finds relief by tormenting her barren rival while Hannah suffers in a silence that turns into sickness and tears.
Consider how God works in our lives through emotional pain. We can choose “relief” by destroying ourselves and others, or we can choose to give our pain to God and wait in faith for his solution. When Hannah finally cries out to God, his plan unfolds in her life.
This week with your small group, share a situation in your family (or extended family) which could provide you with an opportunity to trust God more deeply. Discuss with the group how you can reach out to God, as Hannah did, and how you should react through the process.