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Being A Pest

08.13.17 | Bulletin Article | by J.M. Scott

    He would want me to remind you…

    Some of us, especially we older folks, remember the Marx Brothers, Chico, Groucho and Harpo.  On a visit to New York, Harpo Marx was bombarded by requests from various charities to appear at their benefits. After one particularly persistent woman had called him a dozen times in two days, Harpo reluctantly agreed to appear at an event for her charity. She offered to personally escort him to the event. As they were leaving Harpo's hotel room, the telephone began to ring. "Don't you want to go back and answer it?" she asked. "Why bother?" Harpo replied wearily. "It's undoubtedly you again."

    A Canaanite woman begged Jesus to cure her daughter, who she believed was troubled by a demon.  Jesus seems to ignore her plea. But she doesn’t give up. She keeps asking Jesus for his help. Finally, due to her persistence, Jesus cured her daughter. We should be like the woman who pestered Jesus. We should be like the woman who pestered Harpo Marx. One brother was noted for saying: "Pray like a pest. Give Jesus no rest!”   

    "Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed at that moment" (Matthew 15:28). 

    There’s an old Bluegrass Gospel song entitled Prayer Bells of Heaven. The Chorus says:

    Prayer bells of Heaven oh how sweetly they ring
    Bearing a message unto Jesus our king
    When you are burdened down with sorrows and care
    Ring on and on for God will answer your prayer

    If a person needs nothing, he is dead.  I am alive; therefore, I get hungry and thirsty and need rest. There is a parallel to this in the Christian life.  If your spiritual life is alive, you will be challenged to grow, and you will feel a need to be fed. A cadaver doesn’t need food and drink and clothing.  Neither does a spiritually dead person know he needs to be nurtured.

    Richard C. Halverson was the Chaplain of the United States Senate from February 2, 1981 until December 31, 1994. He was an associate of the National Prayer Breakfast movement. He said: Have you ever looked at Jesus, at Scripture, or at other Christians and said, “I feel so inadequate?”  If so, congratulations! If you recognize that you need the grace of God, and that it is offered to you in Jesus Christ, you are rich indeed.  Your sense of need is an asset rather than a liability. 

    Our sense of need is directly connected to our desire to pray. I want to so ring the prayer bells of Heaven that God would say of me, It’s undoubtedly that pest Jerry again!

    He would want me to remind you. Think about it. Amen.