It was late afternoon, and the sun was sinking into the horizon, painting a perfect sunset in the southwestern sky. I was sitting alone on a rock outcropping overlooking a beautiful lake; the moment was picture perfect.
A gentle breeze blew, and had I been there for any other reason in the world, I would have been completely at peace… instead, my heart was in anguish. “I have every reason to leave,” I thought. “Biblically speaking, I can get a divorce.”
That wasn’t what I wanted, though, and I needed desperately to hear from God. I spoke out into the orange and red sky, “I will not leave this rock until you tell me what to do.”
There are times when standing your ground results in God turning His ear to your need immediately.
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end.
So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! Luke 18:1-8
God turns His ear to us when we petition Him with a desperate heart; but notice it took a while for this woman to get what she asked for! The key is that she never gave up – she cried out to Him day and night.
If a burden is on your heart, never give up believing for it, no matter how long it may take. Cry out for it day and night until you see the change you desire.
When God answers you, He changes you.
This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” … Then he blessed Jacob there. Genesis 32:24-26, 29b
Jacob wrestled for something he had waited on his whole life, and He finally received it in that empty camp. From the moment he had stolen his brother’s birthright, he had been blessed – but he had also been cursed. He had everything that had been promised as the inheritance of Isaac, but he carried around with him the guilt and the curse of his lying and deceiving to get it. When he came face to face with his one and only chance to break free of that curse, he wouldn’t let go until God broke it from him and blessed him. He stood his ground, and he got what he had sought; but he was also changed forever.
The angel broke his hip, and he walked with a limp the rest of his life.
There are only a handful of times in my life that I’ve clearly heard the voice of God speaking to me, and the day I sat on the rock was the most profound. Once my mind had completely silenced, I simply waited and listened.
“How many times have I forgiven you?”
That was His answer to me. I knew that He was reminding me of the many times I had failed Him and yet He had forgiven me, accepted me, and loved me anyway. He answered my persistent request, and He changed me on that rock. He gave me the resolve to stand for my marriage, knowing that my marriage was an earthly parallel to His love for us, His people.
For your Creator will be your husband. The Lord Almighty is his name; he is your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, and the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:4
What are you believing God to give you an answer for?