We all know Jesus liked to teach His disciples through parables. One that I’ve recently been drawn to is about the persistent widow. THIS is a woman I can relate to!
One day, Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” He said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'” – Luke 18:1-5
She Was Driving Him Crazy!
This woman wouldn’t give up. She circled this judge relentlessly until he finally gave in simply because she was driving him crazy! Do you think she cared how she appeared? Or do you think she so desperate she’d do anything – for as long as it took – to get the justice due her?
Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to His chosen people who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?'” – Luke 18:6-8
And you know what I find amazing? Jesus was using this crazy woman as an example of how His disciples SHOULD act! He wasn’t telling them to pray long prayers with pretty phrasing (like the Pharisees), and God would answer because it sounded so nice. No! He told them if they were truly desperate….then they should pray desperately! Becuase if even a heartless judge will give in and do the right thing for some poor widow….how much more will our heavenly Father reward His children who cry out to Him relentlessly, holding fast to their belief in His faithfulness?
The Lesson of Delayed Gratification
This reminded me of when my kids were little. They’d ask for this, and they’d ask for that. Rather than try to reason with them that I didn’t think they really wanted the thing (a toy, skating lessons, or whatever it might be) as much as they thought they did….I made a deal with them: They had to stop asking for it for 2 weeks…and if they still wanted it after 2 weeks, then their Dad and I would seriously discuss it. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they never asked about that thing again; some new toy commercial came on that they “just had to have,” or some other friend was going to take gymnastics and now that’s all they wanted to do. But every once in a while (like with the skating lessons), they’d hold fast, and would remember to ask again in a couple weeks….and we usually found a way to make it happen. In the case of the skating lessons, it only took My Baby Girl one 8-week session to realize she didn’t want to be in a cold ice rink every week. That was a real “growing-up” process for her: She didn’t know she was learning the lesson of delayed gratification, but we knew. *Mama wink*
So if we, as parents, sometimes have to test our kids to see how much they really want something we’d love to give them….why do we doubt God doesn’t do the same thing with us? Why – even in midlife – do we give up so easily sometimes?
How Desperate Are You?
How desperate are you for your miracle? Are you desperate enough to pray through the night? To pray instead of eating one meal a day? Are you desperate enough to knock on God’s door until your knuckles are bloody? Are you willing to look like a crazy woman?
This widow woman sure didn’t follow protocol; she didn’t petition the court and wait her turn. She made her requests known….over and over (and I bet loudly!) until the judge wanted to give her what she asked for! And you know what? God doesn’t care one iota about protocol, either! Jesus honored the prostitute who barged into a dinner party to anoint His feet with oil. Jesus honored the friends who cut a hole in someone else’s roof to make sure their crippled friend would be healed. And God is still honoring holy desperation today!God is still honoring holy desperation today! Click To Tweet
It’s Not About Protocol
God honors those who throw protocol out the window; who pray crazy, bold prayers about BIG dreams, and hold Him to the promises He sets in our hearts.
Is there something you’ve been praying for? How desperate are you for it, really? If you truly believe God laid that dream in your heart, we are going to dig deeper this week and learn how we can more effectively circle our BIG dreams in prayer. I hope you’ll join me.