I’m pretty sure I’m not the only parent who’s heard them self say to their children, “When I say no, I mean no!” Or lately I found myself saying to our daughter, Zoe, “Stop asking the same question and expecting a different answer!”
This was one of those moments when I caught myself and started to think of the times I ask God time and time again for something, or the answer to something, and I don’t seem to hear the response. I have to be brutally honest with myself and the reality is that I don’t hear the answer because it isn’t what I’m expecting or wanting to hear!
I know my children like to keep asking the same question in the hope that I’ll finally weary of their incessant nagging and give in to whatever it is they want, or will somehow change the reality of what I’ve just told them. I suppose some of us aren’t too different in our way with God. We keep nagging Him as though we can wear Him down and affect His decision through emotional pleas and clever arguments, all in the vain hope that one day the answer will change. The reality is that the answer is the answer, because God only speaks truth and won’t tell us otherwise just to appease us or make us feel better.
However, there’s another side to this, that of the persistent widow in Luke 18. She was a woman who was seeking justice and wasn’t going to stop seeking until she found it! Justice is something very close to God’s heart, indeed it’s an intrinsic part of His very nature.
To seek true justice is very different to a person asking for what they want, even if they think it’s the right thing. Justice is something that we have to be so careful with – living in a culture where blame is key and everyone has a ‘right’ to recompense when things go awry or where we think that our point of view is the only right view. This is very different to the justice of God, and we must be extremely careful in being persistent in prayer about our own judgements and perceptions of people and situations, rather than submitting these to God`s perfect justice.
All in all, we need to learn to listen to every answer... even if that’s painful, seemingly wrong, and maybe even the very thing we don’t want. This is seeking true justice.
Prayer: Father God, please help me to seek only true justice and to know the difference between that and what I think is right. Amen.
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