Few things disable new workers on a job like criticism from veterans. Good hiring managers know to protect new employees by surrounding them with mentors willing to shield them from unnecessary barbs.
Hannah is a mentor to us in dealing with criticism and deep desires of the heart (1 Sam. 1:1-18). Surrounded by a husband who didn’t understand, a taunting peer, and an overly judgmental clergyman, Hannah found a way through the fog by confiding in God (v.10). While we now know God answered the prayer of Hannah’s heart by giving her a child, we don’t know for sure if Eli’s blessing was a wish or a promise from God (v.17). I think her no-longer-sad face came most of all because she gained peace from confiding in Him.
We were created to be in relationship with God; and when we take that relationship to an intimate level, it bonds us not only to His presence but also to His strength. Prayers that express our hurts and emotions are most assuredly welcomed by God because they demonstrate our trust in Him. We will often find perspective, and nearly always come away comforted, knowing we’ve entrusted the things that are troubling us—whether criticism or deep desires—to the One who is best able to sort through them.