Peninnah and Hannah were Elkanah’s wives. The former had children while the later had none. Peninnah caused Hannah emotional and physical pain by rubbing the issue of barrenness in her face. This went on year after year; for how long, it was not ascertained. I describe Peninnah as an infliction, unsympathetic and mean!
Each time, which most likely was every time, these women met at a gathering, Hannah felt sick! She manifested symptoms such as crying, loss of appetite, headache/migraine, cold sweat, apprehension, depression, etc.Peninnah showed no mercy even at the place of worship, she simply was ‘Peninnah’
On a particular year, after several years of barrenness, anguish and pity party, she knelt before the Lord and prayed for a child; a heartfelt prayer – she groaned in the spirit. Her prayers were answered almost instantly and she gave birth to a boy, Samuel. Samuel went on to do mighty things.
Think about it. If Peninnah had not been ‘bitchy‘ (excuse my language), would Hannah have seen a need for prayer?
There are obvious parallels in my life too. I have come across some Peninnahs who were ‘salt to my wound’. I remember vividly breaking out in cold sweat whenever I knew I would meet with them at gatherings. Dreadful moments, indeed! There was a Peninnah at the office, in church and family. Like Hannah, I have learnt that for each type of Peninnah I could respond by praying(spirit led) or honing my skills (office related) but definitely not pity party.