12 Now it came about, as she [c]continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 15 But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman [d]oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not [e]consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and [f]provocation.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” 18 She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
We come across people in our lives who are distressed like Hannah. Sometimes it is obvious something is wrong, sometimes we have no idea. But God can and will use us to encourage them. In Eli’s case, he only said one positive thing to her, but it completely changed her mindset and lifted her spirit.
We don’t know how and when God will use us, but when we have the opportunity to encourage someone, we should take it. Even if it’s just a brief word, a little encouragement can go a long way.
Don’t be so hasty to look to the negatives, but listen for God’s voice, and speak hope and life into someone’s life.