by Tim Hall
A dedicated search for something we value may bring good results.
Finding a needle in a haystack is a nearly impossible task. So is finding a wedding ring dropped into ten feet of water in a large bay. Aleki Taumoepeau, however, proved that nearly impossible is not the same as impossible.
Aleki, an ecologist from New Zealand, was in a boat in Wellington Harbor in March of 2008 investigating the presence of an invasive plant species.
Somehow his wedding band slipped off his finger, flew up into the air and into the murky water. Aleki immediately tossed a boat anchor into the water where the ring went in, vowing to return to search for his lost treasure.
Three months later he returned, but his search was futile. His wife suggested he simply buy a new ring, but Aleki insisted on finding the one he lost.
He returned again recently, this time in chilly winter conditions, and renewed his search. As he was about to give up, he spotted the anchor he’d left behind. Just inches from the anchor was the ring. Aleki now has a new nickname – Lord of the ring.
Hannah, a godly woman, had not lost a ring but she was desperately searching for something. Though married, she had been unable to have children.
While on a visit to the tabernacle she was spotted by Eli, the high priest, praying silently to God. Thinking she was drunk, Eli rebuked her. No, she replied, I have not been drinking but “… have poured out my soul before the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:15, NKJV).
God heard that petition and Hannah soon gave birth to Samuel, one of Israel’s greatest leaders.
What is it that we’re seeking? If it is good and necessary, Jesus encourages us to pray. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
Those who know the Greek language tell us that these words have a durative sense: Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. Those who seek only once may not receive.
Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:1-8 to underscore the value of persistence. A widow had a valid complaint, but could not get the attention of the judge. Rather than give up, she continued seeking his help.
Finally the exasperated judge ordered that justice be done for this woman so he could have some peace. Jesus then stated the lesson: “And shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him, though he bears long with them?” (Luke 18:7).
There are many possible reasons why God has not yet granted my request. Perhaps he will grant it in time. But if I don’t keep on seeking …
“Now this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
by Tim Hall