Thursday, August 4, 2011

True Persistence

Water, the preserver of life. It's always an issue in our city. There's been a screaming match going on outside my window for more than half an hour. I don't need to look out or listen too closely. It's in the direction of the tap in the lane on the outside wall of our building----the fight is about water. Twice a day for a couple of hours the water flows and the women in the building across the lane come out and have to share a common tap. It doesn't always go well!

I'm glad that the yelling is on that side of the building today. The last few days there's been discontent in the courtyard on the other side of our building, the place where we enter our home from. The people who live there are tenants that FS inherited with the purchase of this building. They live in rooms that where probably servant quarters, store rooms or stables in the courtyard a hundred years ago.

The tenants are actually privileged. Not only is there a tap in the courtyard that they get water from a couple of times a day(just like the people in the lane outside), but there is a well that they can use any time for washing things or bathing. A while back Steve and helpers piped the water from the well so that part of it can be pumped to use for the bathrooms of the T-shirt unit in the building, but also so the tenants in the courtyard can get water from a tap anytime they want without having to drop a bucket in the well. They were thrilled!

Until a few days ago when the well dried up. Steve told them over and over that the well was dry and that we had to wait for it to fill again. The first day it was random comments asking what was going on. The next day turned into demands for Steve to do something. The following day people sat in small groups in the courtyard demanding and muttering to themselves. By the end of the day they were angrily fussing at anyone in our family who came out of the house. They thought that by continuing to harass our family that Steve would somehow make the water appear.

It reminded me of the parable of the persistent widow who asked and asked and asked until her request was granted. I think sometimes we interpret those verses that we must nag our Father the way that the tenants were nagging and demanding from our family. But is that what He intends?

I don't think so.

In the parable the widow was asking a judge who "neither feared G-d or cared about people." (Luke 18:2) We have to remember that! J3sus goes on to say that wouldn't our Father be more quick to answer? Of course!

We are definitely to be persistent in talking Him because He's told us to. He wants relationship with us and knows that we NEED relationship with Him. But our attitude when we come to Him shouldn't be to hound Him into giving us what we want but this attitude instead:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by pra.yer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to G-d." Phil. 4:6

I remember a time in my life when I felt like I desperately needed an answer (the one I wanted, of course!)---and the heavens were silent. By pushing willfully all I did was create stress and anxiety in my own life when the truth of the matter was that He had the situation in His hands the whole time---and worked it out better than I ever could have my own way.

It's all about relationship through coming to Him often and trust.

The issue with the courtyard tenants and the well has eased somewhat. My smart husband siphoned water from our own tanks (pumped when the water comes on a couple of times a day) into the pipes by the well. He's hoping that the break will allow the well to catch up a bit. So I guess their persistence paid off-----but it was stressful for everyone!

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