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A Powerful Parable on Perseverence

"And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.  He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary. For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.' And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?"  Luke 18: 1-18

Early Sunday morning as Renee and I were at adoration I was blessed by the Lord with a new understanding about this Gospel message.  It is amazing how the Lord chooses to minister to me during those sacred moments of silence.

As most of you well know I have been unemployed these past  few and accordingly, my faith has been  shaken in ways that I have never experienced before. There have been many times that I even doubted the very existence of God. I asked myself if God really loved me then why would he leave me alone to fight this battle on my own? What kind of father abandons his child when his child needs him the most? Given my personal issues with abandonment (My father left me when I was 13) this cruel silence on God's part was simply unbearable. The only thing that kept me going during these months was perseverance, the hope that things would get better somehow.  These two scripture passages spoke to me:   


"More than that we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us."  Romans 5: 3-5a

"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

About three weeks ago a friend called me and asked me to pray for him for his job search.  He, like myself was also unemployed and desperately looking for work.  He told me specifically about one of his job searches and how he persevered in landing a second interview for that job. He told me that first he needed to take a train to get to the town.  Once he arrived there he needed to walk an additional two miles just to get to the place for his interview.  Once he arrived to the place he went for the interview and after the interview he had to endure the anguish of his hellish travel experience all over again; and this was just for a job that payed slightly above minimum wage! Throughout this ordeal my friend joked and explained how he needed to do whatever it took just to get the opportunity to work. I was inspired by his tenacity in trying to find a job.

This past week I also was encountered by an enormous financial obstacle;  I needed 300 dollars and I needed it immediately in order to reinstate my car insurance.  Time was against me, I didn't have much time, I needed to pay the money or else I couldn't drive.  I went to the chapel and I prayed with the greatest intensity that I could muster, pleading to God to please find a way to provide this money for me.  I left the chapel, with no money and little hope, but guided instead by a new found spirit of perseverance.  I knew somehow without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord would come through for me.  I didn't know why, but somehow I had a new found hope.

3 days later, someone gave us dollars from someone who was looking to give that exact amount to a charity.  We were struck by God's goodness, and  praised Him for it. This miracle taught us the value of  hope. If we had given up hope,  we would not have been ready to receive the money.  God blesses those who persevere.  It is simple as that.  That is my message: Persevere. The Lord honors that request.  The Lord seems to always come through when things are at their seemingly worst; at about 10 seconds before midnight as I like to say; when you have no more fight left.  I generally dislike God's ulcer producing tactics, but these are his ways, and I have learned throughout these ordeals that his ways are definitely not like mine as Isaiah says in the bible

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55: 9

In the meantime while I am being bashed by these unforgiving rough currents I will keep praying for the grace to keep on fighting just like the widow did in the gospel reading.
  




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