As a first-grade teaching assistant, I always encountered a student trying to justify a trip to the health office. You know: paper cuts, tummy aches, minor scrapes, things like that. But some students somehow contracted these issues constantly, multiple times a day even. That’s how Jessica was. She would ask me several times a day, every single day, if she could go to the health office.
When she first began this habit, I would let Jessica go. Then I thought about the workload I was adding to the poor health aide. From then on, I made it my goal to keep Jessica in class. She would approach me with her urgent medical need, and I would come up with some excuse to keep her in class. “Why don’t you wait until after lunch and see if you feel better,” I would suggest. Or even, “You can keep the trash can by your desk in case you need to throw up.” But eventually, Jessica would wear me down and I would send her to the health office.
One day when I was especially frustrated with Jessica’s antics, the Lord reminded me of the parable of the unjust judge, found in Luke 18. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an illustration Jesus shared to encourage people to pray unrelentingly. He tells the story of a judge who doesn’t care about integrity and a widow who is so persistent in her requests for justice the judge finally breaks down and helps her. With Jessica, I saw first-hand how even someone who has resolved not to help someone can eventually be swayed. Jesus tells this parable to remind us God is not unjust. Rather, wants to grant justice to his people, especially when we ask him for it.
This reminder came at an especially tender time. I had just heard my friend’s son had been diagnosed with another brain tumor after battling cancer for several years already. I needed this gentle nudge from God to keep praying even though my past prayers didn’t seem to make a difference. Do not let your circumstances discourage you from continuing to petition the Lord for justice on this earth. He is faithful and he loves your prayers.
by Lauren Bratten
“So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!” Luke 18:7-8
Lord, please give me strength and faith to be relentless in prayer. I want to trust you and your goodness. Thank you that you are a just God, and you care about all of my needs.