They say you can’t fight city hall. But I did once—and won! My appeal involved a ton of hassle and red tape and took a long time to resolve. I never was confident I’d actually succeed—but I did! At the end of the day, I didn’t have to pay the parking ticket I thought had been issued to me unfairly. My persistence paid off.
God brought that small victory to mind the other day when I was praying through the story of the persistent widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18: 1-8. I’d always wondered why Jesus had compared our heavenly Father to such an unlikable judge, a man who “neither feared God nor cared about men” (v. 2).
Do you really want to know? He seemed to ask.
“Yes, Father, I would like to know!”
Because sometimes you seem to have more confidence in human beings and human institutions—even very obviously imperfect ones—than you do in Me. You’ll go after it with city hall—but will you go after it with Me?
Ouch. The truth hurt. But He made a good point. Why was I willing to invest all that time, energy, and hope into a $20 parking ticket—never even expecting a positive outcome—when too often I give up praying about matters of much greater significance?
Thankfully, our Father is an encouraging father; He did not leave me in a puddle of regret.
You still have no real idea how much I love you, how committed I am to you, how I care about you and what’s important to you. You don’t always see immediate answers to your prayers, but that does not mean I’m ignoring you! I’ll never give up on you! Please don’t give up on Me!
I love that about God. He can bring piercing conviction and tremendous encouragement all at the same time. My response? Well, confession, of course. I felt sad that sometimes I put more confidence in impersonal, imperfect institutions than in my loving Father! But I also felt hopeful. God was inviting me to go after some prayer requests I’d pretty much stopped praying about. So I’m talking to Him about these again—and with His encouragement and help, I’ll keep talking with Him about them until I see Him answer.