Romans 10:13 – For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (NIV)
Luke 11:8-9 – But I tell you this — though he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. (NLT)
In May, the rhododendron beside my front porch buzzes with bees. They flit from flower to flower seeking sweet nectar. Occasionally, one hapless bee flies into my plastic-enclosed porch and buzzes along the plastic wall nearest the nectar-laden bush. It dive-bombs the plastic. It insistently and persistently searches for an opening, any way to get to the scent-laden flowers. Despite all its efforts, it finds no way out.
When I hear a desperate buzzing, I go onto the porch, place my straw broom by the bee, let it crawl upon it, then gently carry it outside the porch door. One shake of the broom and it flies off to freedom.
The bee's futile behaviour got me to thinking. We are like trapped bees. No matter how hard we try, we cannot find our way free from sin's snare. We are hapless, hopeless, and helpless. We need someone to rescue us. God sent Christ Jesus to do just that — to rescue us sinful human beings and set us eternally free. When He died upon the cross and rose again, He opened the way for us. All we need do is call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, and God's grace will find us. When we repent and ask for mercy, He forgives us and frees us from sin's snare.
But then I thought about the bee's persistence. In several of Jesus' teachings, He lauded that virtue. He assured us that our prayers would be answered through persistent and prayerful asking, seeking, and knocking. In the same way that I became aware of the bee's plight and came to its rescue, Jesus highlighted God's knowledge of our needs and His delight in supplying them. Jesus wanted us to realize that God loves being asked — persistently.
Prayer: Rescuing God, we confess that we are hopelessly trapped by sin and helpless to free ourselves. We come in Jesus' name, asking to be rescued, forgiven, and set free from sin's power over us. We lift to You the wordless heart cries of those who are desperate for Your love, even when they are not aware of their need. Enable us to be persistent in our prayers for them, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.