Parable of the Persistent Widow
Okay, so last week I wrote about how I'm never giving up, and I don't want anyone to give up on me. This week, I've spent a lot of time reading Acts and Exodus as well as a book with a pretty powerful chapter interpreting the parable of the "persistent widow." Sometimes this is referred to as the parable of the unjust judge, but the focus is on the actions of the widow over the character of the judge.
Here's what I've learned this week: I still believe in the same God that was at work and on fire (sometimes literally in leading the Israelites through the desert at night) in the Bible. The same Holy Spirit is active today, and the opening to Luke's telling of this particular parable says Jesus told it to his followers "to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (Luke 18:1 NIV). In the short story, the widow demands justice from a judge who doesn't really care about her or God, but because she's so annoying, he eventually gives in. Jesus is intentionally contrasting the character of God - if even this awful judge does what is right when the woman demands justice, how much more will our loving God bring justice for his children?
The book I read this week emphasized that we should continue to bring our requests to God faithfully, and I was convicted of how little I express that here. I ask God to help me walk everyday, and I believe in miracles. Yet, weirdly, I'm embarrassed to ask my readers to pray for those bigger miracles. I usually ask you to pray for bite sized bits each week. I don't think it's bad to focus the attention on immediate smaller needs, but I also think it's worth asking my audience to beg with me for everything this week.
I didn't have any major breakthroughs in my physical progress over the last seven days, but I did have tiny moments of hope in neurological recovery. The euphemistic language might sound familiar to some who know I try to politely describe the bathroom issues I have to deal with; welcome to my life for those of you who just thought my problems were limited to walking.
When I broke my back five years ago, I had no idea it meant more problems than just not walking. I desperately want to walk again. To run, to wiggle my toes in the sand, and to dance in the rain.
I also want to pee.
Seriously, I can't stress enough how much I want to have full control of bladder and bowel function. I want it all. That's another common refrain for me. I'm confident God can restore all function, and I'm going to persist in both using what I have and developing the muscles that currently have weak function while also begging God with renewed fervor for the restoration of missing neurological function. The same God that parted the Red Sea, that translated the tongues of the apostles in their Pentecost sermons, that conquered death - that God is capable of miraculously moving in my body this week.
I have a wide audience, and the faith levels of my readers are variant. When I teach about miracles in my Christian Essentials class, I explain that there are plenty of acts of God that people explain away. Several years ago, someone prayed over me and told me "try to wiggle your toes tonight;" the next morning, I wiggled a toe for the first time in 347 days. I call that a miracle; others call that convenient timing. I can't convince you to increase your faith, but I can ask you to pray from where you're at today. Please beg God to reveal something amazing and new in my body this week. From day one, my primary request is that God be glorified in my story (I'm bringing out all the hits in today's post). My faith is unshaken, and I've been so humbled to see how God is glorified so far, and today's request is another partner to that original request. I want more function, and I want to give God the credit for it.
Over the years, I've been able to celebrate lots of markers and movements forwards, and I'm hopeful with your prayers, powerful and effective, I can bring more good news of God at work in my story next week. I'm meeting with Mike tomorrow, and I'm asking for everything - I hope you'll join me in my prayers this week and return for an update here next week.