I’ve never been married, but I would like to be the widow.
Not just any widow, though. The widow in Jesus’ story in Luke 18. You know – the persistent one.
I’ve spent a week traveling through government bureaucracy and paperwork. Strange procedures that have rarely been efficient. That this has been happening in South Asia is, I think, immaterial since government offices everywhere are infamous for their general lack of customer service and common sense. All this frustration and I haven’t even skimmed the ocean of headache possible when dealing with inefficiencies!
If giving up had been an option these past several days – I confess I would have happily quit. But these government offices held the key to remaining in a place I’m called to be. Quitting hasn’t been an available option. Whether I liked it or not – I had to persist.
That’s why I’ve been thinking about the persistent widow of Jesus’ story in Luke 18.She went to a corrupt judge continually asking for justice. I doubt she even expected to get justice from him – but where else could she go? He was the one who had what she needed. Quitting wasn’t an available option. Whether she liked it or not – she had to persist.
And that persistence finally won her justice.
The point of Jesus’ story about prayer is to teach us that we should always pray “and not lose heart” (18:1). So he tells a story in which persistence wins justice from an unjust judge. Then He compares it with our relationship to God. If persistence can win justice from an unjust judge – or pull something valuable from bureaucracy – how much faith can we have in coming to a just judge to whom we have direct access?
It’s so easy to lose heart that Jesus felt a story especially about it was necessary. I (and maybe you?) generally persist only if I have to – if there is no other option but the hard road. If there appears to be an option other than perseverance – I’ll take it. I’m an expert at finding a “solution” that seems to be a better or faster solution to the “inactivity” of persistent prayer.
Oh how foolish I can be! These other voices that promise so much leave me worse than when I listened to them. I find myself right back at the need to persistently listen to the Whisperer in prayer. To cry out to Him until He provides what I need. I have no other options.
So I want to be the Luke 18 widow. I long for that kind of steadfast endurance – that can look at an impossibility and choose to persevere anyway. Because I don’t come to a loveless, unjust judge but to my Lord and my Savior who delights to do what is best for me.
Situations might be impossible – but I must persist in prayer and faith. Because, honestly, to whom else can I go?