Puff. Inhale. Pufffff. Inhaaaale. Puff. Inhale. Puff.
“Mom, this is going to take forever!”
I looked over at Drew sitting on the couch, attempting to inflate his new tube for the pool.
“Drew, just take a break but keep trying. You’ll get there.”
He wanted to give up. I saw it in his eyes. But something in him kept trying after each break.
As I watched him labor, I remembered the battery-operated inflator we have. It would be easy for me to just go get it and save Drew the trouble. But I was comfortably sitting in my chair drinking my hot cappuccino. Just being honest.
I also wanted to see how badly he wanted that inner tube. I knew blowing it up wasn’t beyond his ability. He could do it if he wanted it badly enough. If he stuck with it. If he endured through the hard labor, when his lungs burned and his head started spinning. So I watched to see if he really wanted that inner tube blown up.
Something struck me at that moment, and I saw myself metaphorically blowing in that tube, laboring, wanting to quit.
Last week I posted this on my Facebook page:
That moment when your daughter wakes you up at 4 a.m. and you can’t go back to sleep because that thing that has been causing you such intense anxiety for the past few days is awake as ever in your mind.
You start to resent that thing because you actually were finally sleeping and even resenting what woke you up.
Then, out of nowhere the Spirit prompts you to pray a new prayer, one that hadn’t even crossed your mind in your days of anxiety. As the prayers flow, your mind be…gins to rest and eventually you drift off to a calm sleep.
Morning dawns and you awake to a peace you haven’t felt in days, like the flow of rushing waters after a dam has been breached.
Thank you, Lord, for not letting me go back to sleep last night, until you met me with a new prayer, a new peace, a new song.
The new prayer I felt led to pray was hard. It wasn’t a quick-result prayer like the quickly-inflated beach ball Drew had blown up. It was the inner tube, the one that seemed to never fill.
It was a prayer that would have to be prayed for the long-haul, one that seemed to make no difference during the heavy laboring.
For that moment, watching Drew inflate his beach ball, I saw myself praying this prayer, and God watching me over a drink of cappuccino.
He has resources that could answer the prayer quickly and easily.
But he wants to see how badly I want it. He wants to see if I’m willing to blow enough that my lungs burn and the world around me spins because I simply won’t give up.
I have to laugh because this post has been in my head since yesterday. Then when I went to church this morning, my pastor preached on Luke 18:1-8 – The Parable of the Persistent Widow. I almost told my pastor he stole my blog post idea.
In this parable, Jesus is telling us to keep praying, continually, even when it appears nothing is happening.
How badly do I want it?
(And for the record, my prayer is a prayer of Kingdom purpose. I should clarify.)
And if the Vision of the Green Tube and my pastor’s sermon weren’t enough, God thought He’d make sure I got the point as I glanced at one of the magazines at church – where I rarely look:
Ok, God, I get it.
You may be wondering if Drew wanted his inner tube inflated badly enough. He did.
Now, the question for me is, do I want the answer to my prayer badly enough?
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)