This past week I was especially busy – too busy, in fact, to return a dear friend’s phone calls. I wanted to call her back. But I truly couldn’t. Several pressing crises demanded my attention and I just was not able to call her.
But that didn’t stop her from calling. Every day I got a phone message of her checking in and reminding me to call when I had a chance. She never exhibited any frustration or disappointment with me. I never felt pressured to call her or manipulated – like somehow the status of our friendship depended on my responsiveness (or lack thereof).
When I finally had the opportunity to call her back, I was eagerly looking forward to it! And as I picked up the phone to call her, I remembered the parable Jesus told of the persistent widow – you know, where she keeps coming to the unjust judge and because of her persistence he finally relents and gives her justice. Well, Jesus told the story so that we would always pray and not give up (He’s so much more faithful than an unjust judge).
What I realized is that my friend, in faithfully reaching out to me, modeled exactly the heart that Jesus tells us to have in our prayers to Him — not complaining, not disgruntled, not apathetic, but in faith, believing that He will answer the prayers (and wants to!). I’ll tell you what else — it got me praying bigger and more consistently, too!