Summary: A sermon about prayer and trusting God.
"Hang in There"
I don't know about you, but I want it all and I want it now.
I was speaking with my parents this past week and they happened to mention--off hand-- that my brother-in-law, the CFO for Proctor and Gamble, had dinner with Mark Zuckerburg a few days ago: Mark Zuckerburg is the creator of Facebook.
Zuckerburg wanted to "pick my brother-in-law's brain" as it pertains to how he runs Proctor and Gamble so that Zuckerburg can put those things into practice at Facebook.
My brother-in-law also meets with the President of the United States on a fairly regular basis, along with other top CFO's across the country, so that the President and his staff can get advice on how to run the country's finances and also try and talk my brother-in-law into moving Proctor and Gamble's plants and factories back into the US, rather than going for the cheaper labor overseas.
I remember, not too long ago, when I was in high school and my brother-in-law was dating my sister.
He was just another "boyfriend" that I could beat at basketball.
He zoomed up the ladder fast!!!
They live in a Mansion which is stocked to the rafters with 14th Century Chinese antiques.
Each piece of furniture, each painting, every rug is probably worth more than I make in a year....and then some!!!
It's really quite amazing.
Recently they bought an incredible home on an exclusive Island in South Carolina, and although it was perfect when they bought it, they have gutted the whole thing--gotten rid of the extremely expensive furniture and appliances which came with the home and added a third story and are now in the process of re-furnishing the place.
I don't know about you, but I want that!!!
We do live in a time when we want it all and we want it now!!!
If the internet in my office is working a bit slow, I get stressed.
How am I gonna get my work done?
If attendance is down a bit on a Sunday, it might bother me the entire week.
And how about the personal stuff?
How about the really important stuff?
How about the issues I'm dealing with in my life?
How about when I get so frustrated with myself because I make stupid mistakes--stupid mistakes that I should have learned not to make years ago!!!
Or when I fall into sin?
Or what about when my wife and I are praying and praying for something specific to happen in our lives--and it doesn't work out?
We are devastated!!!
What are we to do with all these feelings, all these things which make us question and feel crummy?
What is the couple, who have been praying and trying to have a child for years and years...been praying and trying...supposed to think when they finally get pregnant and then they have a miscarriage?
And yet there are folks who don't even want children...but it seems every time they take a drink of water they are pregnant again?
And what about the mother who has been praying for years that her alcoholic son will come to Christ...only to have her hopes dashed again and again?
What are we to think; what are we to do?
Our Scripture Lesson for this morning is incredible.
It is deep.
It speaks to this stuff and more.
On the surface, it can seem shallow--but it's not.
So, let's look at it carefully.
What does Jesus mean when He says in verse 7: "Won't God provide justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he be slow to help them?"?
I mean, just when we think we have Jesus figured out as a teacher, a healer, and a man of prayer, He goes and tells a story like this!!!
Who knew that Jesus was a comedian too?
It's not hard to imagine Jesus' listeners throwing their heads back and slapping their knees as they laugh at this, seemingly, ridiculous tale.
A woman pounds and pounds on the door of a rotten politician who could care less about her problems, until he finally sticks his head out the window and shouts, "All right, already!!! Knock it off! I will give you whatever you want if you will just shut up!"
The listeners laugh because they know this woman.
This woman is a lot like them.
She always gets a raw deal, because she has nothing--no social standing, no money, nothing!!!
They know this judge too, the one who is only out for himself.
And he finally does something good in spite of himself.
They laugh, and then they sigh when they realize that this is what Jesus is telling them that prayer is like.
Well, Jesus wasn't exactly telling them that prayer was like this.