DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: A belated Mothers’ Day reflection

Hannah is a biblical example of emotional and relational intelligence and wisdom.

Rev. Josiah Hoagland
Park Rapids Enterprise file photo

One of the most memorable Bible stories of a mother is Hannah told in 1 Samuel chapter 1.

Hannah showed incredible relational courage, honesty, and differentiation throughout her journey to motherhood. Hannah endured through her husband’s other wife mocking her for not having a child (1 Samuel 1:6-7).

In the midst of her being mocked, she vulnerably displayed her emotions by weeping. Hannah did not give in to anger, but instead she chose the relationally courageous decision to be honest about her pain.

Hannah’s journey to motherhood was not finished. She went to pray fervently in the tabernacle and to bring her emotional wounds before God.

Hannah’s courage was not met with a positive welcome from the priest at that time. The priest Eli jumped to the conclusion that Hannah was drunk because she was in such deep distress she was praying silently while moving her lips (1 Samuel 1:13).


Hannah’s response shows both her courage and her willingness to stand up for herself in an emotionally intelligent way. In 1 Samuel 1:15-16, Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”

Despite Hannah’s pain, rejection, accusations and mocking she was able to respond with a gentle yet firm response to Eli. Eli’s response shows his admiration for her response by blessing her.

Hannah eventually did conceive a child and named him Samuel. Hannah’s emotional intelligence is evidenced further in that she gave this son to be in the service of God and trained by the priest Eli.

Hannah had an immense capacity to forgive and find joy. This mother has taught me a great deal about life, relationship with God, and relationship to others. To all the mothers and all the children of mothers reading this, learn from this incredible mother, bless your own mothers (whether they are alive or dead) and grow in your own emotional and relational intelligence and wisdom.

Happy belated Mother’s Day!

Rev. Josiah Hoagland serves as mission director at CHI-St. Joseph's Health in Park Rapids.
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