Are you more of a cat lover, or a dog lover? You may love all of those cute cat videos on facebook, but I am more of a dog lover myself. And yet, there is a scenario that plays out morning after morning revolving around the two cats that we own.
I am often the first one up at our house, and the cats know this. They will often be waiting outside our bedroom door for me to come out in the morning. If they’re not right there at the door, they’ll come running when they hear the door open. As soon as I step out of the bedroom they are meowing at me and running over to their food bowl. Running over to their food bowl is their way of showing me that they are starving and near the point of death. Understand that feeding the cats is not the first thing on my mind when I’m headed out of my bedroom in the morning. But the cats don’t really care about my needs. As I head into the bathroom (the first thing that is on my mind in the morning) I try to do a quick fake and shut the bathroom door so I can go to the bathroom without cats rubbing up against my legs. The next thing on my mind is making breakfast. This I can’t do without cats meowing miserably, them constantly under my feet and rubbing against my legs. Please don’t misunderstand, these cats are not ignored in the least. If anything they are over pampered and a little on the heavy side. I try to tell them that they’re not starving and that they can wait till Cathy gets up (otherwise they’ll end up getting two breakfasts). They don’t seem to understand English. Usually I end up giving in and getting them some cat food, just so I can have some relief while I eat my breakfast.
It makes me think of the parable that Jesus told:
He (Jesus) said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:2-8 ESV)
This widow’s situation was far worse than my cats, but in both cases they got what they were after because of their persistence. Verse one tells us exactly why Jesus told this parable. He said, “that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
So what are you praying about? What seems to be an on-going situation in your life that you need God to intervene? Often we do lose heart, shake our heads (or maybe our fist to the sky), and give up. Understand that God’s timing is often not our timing and that His plans are always better than our plans. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)
Look at the questions in the last verses of the parable again.
“And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night?” God is a just God and we would be foolish to think that he wouldn’t give justice to his elect. Of course he will!
“Will he delay long over them?” This, I think, is where we misunderstand. Back to that whole thought of God’s timing not being our timing. We want God to act and to act now! Which puts us in the place of being God and somehow thinking that we know better than the Omniscient One. It would be better to trust in God’s timing. Jesus himself says, “I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.”
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” This parable is about prayer so I think we could understand this ending to also mean, will he still find us praying in faith.
No matter your struggles and challenges, don’t lose heart and keep on praying!