Well, I really try not to talk, write, focus ALL the time on the fact that this is the most difficult and perplexing time of my sojourn on the planet. I try to sharpen my heart with the sword of His Holy Spirit, to dwell on the things that are abundant and obvious blessings directly from His hand and to keep trusting that the the One who sees the sparrow is watching, knowing and rescuing His children. I know He is.
But after a particularly exhausting week, I made a three hour trip back to Huntsville just in time to walk in the building and hear my brother, Melvin Otey, present a masterpiece lesson about the widow who just would not stop from Luke 18:1-8. I had been forced to pull over and sleep on my way, because I had run into the wrong lane. I had powered through a mild stomach bug the night before. I had tried my best to advise someone who was going through an awful spot via phone while on this trip. While I know that, in whatever state, I am content (Phil. 4:11-13), I was pretty done by the time I arrived at that wonderful place where my family in Him comes together. Weary and worn and bringing mints to stay awake, I had a pretty good idea it would be a struggle. But it was not. God is good like that and the Word always hits its target.
Below is my very loose (but in-keeping-with-the-meaning-of-the-text) transliteration of the passage that spoke to me last night from heaven. I love the Word!
Jesus spoke a parable to the Pharisees, to show them that people should always pray and not grow weary, give up, or lose hope.
Jesus said that there was, in a certain city, a judge who had no respect for God and no compassion for his fellowman. He was not a good person.
And there was a widow in that same city, who had an oppressive enemy or adversary. She brought the matter to the judge and asked him for relief: “Avenge me of my enemy.”
For a while, the judge ignored her. But after a while, the judge thought “I am not afraid of God. I will not do this to please Him. I don’t pity this woman or have any compassion, really, on her. That is not why I will act. But because she is wearying me with her coming…because she is wearing me down…because I am tired of her begging me, I am going to grant her request and take care of her enemy.”
Jesus called on the Pharisees to think about this reasoning of the judge, who was a long way from a righteous man. “If this unrighteous judge answers because of the continual begging of a widow, how much more will the God of heaven avenge his own elect—his people—who are begging him for something day and night? He will do this even though he has to be patient with them as they are begging? If a wicked judge, who has no respect for God or man, gives relief because of the begging, how much more will your Father, hear you and give you the relief for which you’re begging day and night?”
And then Jesus answered His own question: “I’m telling you that God will suddenly give you the relief for which you are pleading.” It may come from a place and at a time and in a way that I least expect.
Then my Lord asks of us the simple question, “When Jesus comes, will he find in us this kind of pleading-over-and-again faith? He said these things because He was speaking to folks who trusted in themselves; people who thought they were the righteous ones and looked on others with disdain.
Is there something for which you have been begging; particularly something that will aid in some soul’s salvation? Is there a relief for which you have asked again and again, night and day. The answer for me, is, “yes”. I know many of you well enough to know that it is “yes” for you, too. I know that He is hearing the repetition and I know that He will suddenly give the answer. I will be persistent in the asking, but patient in the waiting. He is truly so good to me.
And for the diggers, this is a great example of practical comfort from the Holy Spirit, through the Word and then through the mouth of God’s servant.