For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.”Luke 18:4-5, NRSV
When I grew up in rural South Carolina, the worst thing that could happen is that someone got sick in the middle of the night. We lived about 20 miles from the nearest hospital and most people didn’t have cars and a neighbor could be a mile or two away. There were no all-night urgent care centers and no town doctor. To this day my hometown is like that. We are still pretty far off the grid and are one of the places that President Biden mentioned in his infrastructure bill.
Imagine that you wake up to a sick child in your household in a place like my hometown and you don’t have access to medical care, and you don’t have a car. You’d probably do what my Great Grandaunt Carrie did. You’d pray first. After praying, God tells you that the only way to save this child is to get help from a neighbor, who has the medicine you need.
So, you set out to find the medicine. You knock on the first door, and no one answers. What do you do? Do you stay there complaining about the fact that even though someone looked out the window and saw you knocking they didn’t answer? Do you call your best friend who lives in another state to complain that your first neighbor ignored you? Do you complain to God about it? Of course not, you keep knocking on doors until someone answers.
In Luke 18, Jesus shares a story to encourage the disciples to never give up on prayer. Jesus tells the story of a judge that feared no one, not even God. There was a widow who needed justice and she came to the judge, who refused her request several times. The widow was not deterred. She kept coming until finally, the judge granted her justice. This woman kept knocking on the heart of the judge until she got what she needed.
Sometimes walking with Christ is like that. We have a prayer request that has not been answered. We have a problem that has not been solved. We have a broken heart that needs mending. We have a need that has not been met. Do we give up on God or do we keep knocking?
Prompt for Thought: Where in your life do you need to keep knocking on the door of God’s heart?
Prayer for the Journey: Dear God, when we doubt that you hear our prayers, please help us to be like the persistent widow. Help us to keep knocking on the door of your heart, trusting that you will answer in the perfect time in your own perfect way. In Jesus’ name. Amen.