Journal Entry ~ 11/23/17

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. - Luke 18:1

Once upon a time, this Parable of the Persistent Widow was confusing to me.  I didn't get the connection to me or to God, so rather than persist in an understanding, I would just pass over it.  Parables aren't meant to be easily understood, though.  Jesus taught in parables to separate the insincere from the sincere. He wanted to filter out those who were not serious about listening, but He also wanted to bring God’s truth to life in the hearts of those who heard and understood. They’re meant to draw the reader in to the story and challenge their world view.  His intention was to capture our attention with a story about every day life and push us to think deeper about the meaning. If we want to understand the parables, we need to dedicate ourselves to making the connection between the point of the story and our own lives.  He wants us to persist in our pursuit of understanding of His truths when we are reading His Word - to not give up so easily because it's difficult, and to pray for understanding when something in scripture is confusing. Our flesh may blind us from understanding on our own, but the Holy Spirit lives inside of us and will remove our blinders if we persist by asking Him to reveal the truth.  

Clearly, I failed at this the first few times I passed over this story!  The ironic part is this is a story about persistence, but I didn’t fully understand the story. I just gave up when it didn’t come to me quickly and moved on. But I love our Lord, and the way He knows me - He knew I didn't understand something, and He knows my desire is to increase my understanding of Him, so he allows me to sit under a teacher who can explain these parables to me.

I understood the connection between the lady and us in this parable - we are to be persistent in prayer, but what didn't make sense to me was the judge. The parallel seems to connect the judge to God - he is the one she is asking for justice from, and he is the one who has the power to grant her justice. But he is such an evil, corrupt brain just couldn't comprehend the connection.  Why would Jesus draw a parallel between God and this judge?  Holding a position of power and leadership obligates you to work justly, especially on behalf of the poor and weak - this is where my brain stopped the effort of understanding. 

But persistence would have taken me to a deeper understanding of what Jesus is teaching. Obviously, Jesus doesn’t mean that God is corrupt as the judge, so the point must be that Jesus wants us to be persistent in prayer - even in the face of evil, even with the odds seem stacked against us, even when we're dealing with a corrupt person in a position of power. God's will is at work in this broken world - even in situations where leaders are corrupt. God chooses every position of authority, and they all serve God regardless of whether they acknowledge it or not. The judge doesn't have a choice but to serve God's will, even though he doesn't acknowledge God. 

We don't ever need to lose hope - even when it seems as if all odds are stacked against us. We’ve all been in those situations that feel unjust, we all have experiences with authority positions that seems corrupt or unjust. What we need to remember is that He reigns over everyone and everything. What a beautiful illustration of God's sovereignty in the corrupt world we live in.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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