This devotion is an excerpt from Lori Hatcher’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God is the nutrition women need to get through the day.
Green Bean Wars and Camel Knees
Facetime: God, I’m not seeing results. Why should I keep praying?
I knew I could outlast ‘em.
Normally easy going, my mother seldom forced us to eat food we didn’t like. But that day she must have read the “5 Reasons Your Child Needs Green Beans” article in the latest Parents Magazine. Mom had always respected my aversion to green food, so the five slimy green beans she spooned onto my dinner plate puzzled me.
“I don’t like green beans,” I reminded her.
“Well you can’t leave the table unless you eat them,” she responded, crossing her arms for emphasis.
Mealtime came and went. My other, more compliant, siblings choked down their required quota of beans and went out to play. Mom cleared the dinner table, washed the dishes, and still I sat, staring at my plate.
Considering my prospects, I noticed the longer the green beans sat there, the more shriveled they became. If I waited long enough, I reasoned, perhaps they would shrivel up completely, and disappear. I would be emancipated.
I determined to outlast them.
After an hour of watching me from the other room, Mom stomped back into the kitchen where I sat and said with a huff, “Oh, go outside for heaven’s sake!”
I had won the Green Bean War.
Many years later, when I began to learn about prayer, I encountered several inspiring examples of similarly stubborn persistence.
Jacob wrestled with the angel of God and declared, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gen. 32:26).
The Syrophoenician woman of Mark 7 humbled herself, begging Jesus to heal her tiny, demon-possessed daughter. To test her perseverance and faith, he rebuffed her initial requests for help. But she loved her daughter. She recognized that Jesus was her only hope. Instead of pridefully responding to his testing, she continued to plead gently with him until he healed her child.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, was such a man of prayer that he earned the nickname Camel Knees because of the calluses he developed from kneeling.
When D.L. Moody became a believer, he began to pray for his friends. All but one was saved in his lifetime, and the last trusted Christ as his Savior three months after Moody died.
What are you wrestling with God about in prayer? A prodigal child? A medical miracle? An impossible financial situation? A broken marriage?
God’s Word promises, the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man avails much (James 5:16, change mine).
He reminds us those who sow in tears shall reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).
I encourage you to join Jacob, the Syrophonenician woman, D.L. Moody, and me in praying with tenacity and determination. Claim God’s promises with boldness and faith. Like the green beans on my childhood plate, with the Lord’s help, we can outlast ‘em!
Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
Lori knows what it’s like to be busy. And what it’s like to struggle to make time for God. Her passion is helping women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. A Yankee transplant living in Columbia, South Carolina, Lori uses her speaking and writing ministry to equip and empower women. She’d love to connect with you on her blog (www.LoriHatcher.com), on Facebook – Hungry For God, and Twitter @lorihatcher2.
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