Persistence is like the spraying surf or the whistling wind; it erodes away even the most hardened rock over time. Battle-hardened generals, the most well-meaning of parents, the most demanding of bosses all will give into persistence. Why? Like the irritating gnat buzzing around our head, like an adjacent whistling hearing aid, like the canker sore lingering in our gums, we just want to settle the annoyance so our attention is no longer divided.
Luke 18 begins with Jesus telling a parable about a widow who most desperately was seeking justice, so she would seek out the king of her and tell of her request. The king wasn’t a God-fearing man, or a man-fearing man for that matter, but he eventually gives into the never-ending nagging just to make it stop. His exasperation becomes her blessing. He did not even care about the woman, yet he fulfills her incessant request. Jesus compares this to the matters of our own heart, and how we might constantly convey needs to our Father in prayer. Jesus states, “Will he delay long over (our requests)? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily” because he is a loving Father, who is loftier than any king, but is most desperately desires a relationship with the lowliest of men.
Nearing the end of the chapter, Jesus models his Father’s care for the determined. A blind beggar recognizes the “King of Kings” is passing by, and recognizes his opportunity to be healed. He is unrelenting in his pursuit. He cries out “Jesus, Son of David have mercy on me!” The crowd tells him to shut up – a nuisance such as this is not worth the time of Jesus. Instead, the man cries louder, longer, and harder, emphatically declaring the Lord to have mercy on him. Finally, he has the attention of Jesus, and he declares the desire of his heart: sight. This time it is not an unkind king who yields to petition, but a truly benevolent one, acting on behalf of the Father, because this blind beggar has believed.
We serve a Father who does not hide in shifting shadows from petitioners, but makes it clear that He is ready, willing, and able to meet our every need if we would so choose to let him. Not only this, he will also give us the desires of heart if we are attuned to His will and purpose; however, we fail to recognize that we must be faithful and persistent in our request. Now, I don’t think we can annoy God into submission, but there are more than a few faithful followers in the Bible who petition the Lord Almighty, and there is a change of course. James Chapter 1, which I highly recommend you read alongside your assigned daily devotional, speaks of the great rewards awaiting those who do not surrender in their pursuit.
God is most certainly in control. He is also a gracious and loving heavenly Father. He is awaiting your appeal and ready to meet the desires of your heart – yes, even those, that are locked away, wrapped in doubt, and shouted down. Unashamedly shout them and ask in the name of the King, Jesus Christ, and He will hear your cry.