The Persistent Widow
Jesus often told parables, stories with heavenly meanings. He chose a widow for one of the main characters in Luke 18 to teach that at all times we ought to pray and not to lose heart:
“In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
This harsh magistrate was responsible for judging the case between a widow and her opponent. Keep in mind, widows are women who have been left alone—a Woman In Distress, or WID for short. Because Mrs. WID was alone and stressed, she repeatedly stood before the judge pleading for help. Which often seems the case for widows, always coming up against an adversary whether imaginary, living inside the battlefield of their mind, or from conflicts that arise through the grieving process. For whatever reason, the details of her conflict that day are not shared, perhaps so we can insert our own battles into this story!
Now we know, a nagging woman is never really portrayed in a positive light in Scripture; however in this instance because of Mrs. WID’s constant “bothering,” the unrighteous judge agreed to give her legal protection so she wouldn’t keep wearing him out! Ladies, just smile and nod here. The judge was not afraid of God or man, but a widow had him shaking in his boots 😊! God can use anything and He cares for the widow.
It’s hard to explain but widows often intimidate people. Perhaps it’s because death inserts an unavoidable awkwardness into our former relationships and people don’t know what to do with us now. The body of Christ carries guilt on their shoulders because they know they should help the widow, but they don’t know how. And yes, there are those nagging widows who look to everyone but God to have their needs met. In the case of the Luke 18, nagging worked although God chose to use her behavior for a spiritual application not to illustrate that it’s okay to bother family and friends.
Trusting God and God alone to meet our needs is the crucial spiritual lesson to learn early in this journey. You will have a variety of needs—practical, emotional and spiritual. Without a husband in the home, there will be days you feel you could burst with the desire to share your need with someone. That’s okay. Hopefully, you will find a safe network in which to communicate those needs. However, your first go-to source should be the Lord Jesus Christ!
Unlike the unrighteous judge, we are not a bother to Him and we will not wear Him out. God longs to satisfy our deepest need.
He is able to meet all our needs, and through this process He will glorify Himself to the world. John Piper sums it up this way, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
“Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).