Let us not take this with a grain of salt; instead let us learn also from this the highest values, and when we fall foul of some disaster, even if we are suffering grief and pain, even if the trouble seems insupportable to us, let us not be anxious or beside ourselves but wait on God’s providence. He is well aware, after all, when is the time for what is causing us depression to be removed—which is what happened in her case as well.
It was not out of hatred, in fact, or of revulsion that he closed her womb, but to open to us the doors on the values the woman possessed and for us to espy the riches of her faith and realize that he rendered her more conspicuous on that account.… Extreme the pain, great the length of grief—not two or three days, not twenty or a hundred, not a thousand or twice as much; instead, “for a long time,” it says, for many years the woman was grieving and distressed, the meaning of “for a long time.”
Yet she showed no impatience, nor did the length of time undermine her values, nor the reproaches and abuse of her rival; instead, she was unremitting in prayer and supplication, and what was most remarkable of all, showing in particular her love for God, was the fact that she was not simply anxious to have this very child for herself but to dedicate the fruit of her womb to God, offer the first fruits of her own womb and receive the reward for this fine promise.
John Chrysostom Homilies on Hannah 1.
John R. Franke, ed., Old Testament IV: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1–2 Samuel, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 195.