Most people pay attention to big things. For some, it’s power. For others it is fame or money. In shipping, it’s the big ships that get attention. After all, ships laden with cargo are worth a fortune that will be delivered to a places far away. Sea lanes are full of ships with millions of pounds of commodities and raw materials. It is shipping power.
Once in a port, however, the big ships wait for a little “dinky” boat. When tugboats nestle up to the side of the big ship, an inexperienced observer barely notices. The little boat applies power at the right places and for periods of time that become critical to positioning the ship so it can deliver its cargo within reach of huge cranes on big dock. If this part is not done, nothing comes off the ship. Likewise, when a big ship leaves, those little boats do the same thing in reverse, or the ship is never able on it’s own to get to the high seas. It has to yield to the tugs’ consistent application of limited power to get into a shipping lane.
There was a big ruler who gave little regard to God or man. Like a big container ship, he had a course of action and authority. He liked his power and moved big things. A little widow kept coming to him for justice. She came to him over and over again. She repeatedly gave voice to her complaint. It would seem she was very small — just a little widow. She kept applying her voice in visit after visit until the ruler finally yielded. He was worn out and gave in. He moved his authority and attention from big important things to the little widow and her repeated complaint, which probably reverberated in his ears as soon as he saw her. She was like one of those little boats, so small compared to the big ship. But with consistent applied power over time, she moved that ruler like the tugs move big ships.
Jesus’s point is simple. He looks for believers in Him not give up in prayer in the face of seemingly immoveable big things. After the story, He goes back to a chilling question: “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Will He find yours? Do you know Him in a personal way to know that He listens to faithful prayer?
Bible Reference: Luke 18:1-8
Technical Note: Jon Beard works as an engineer on a tug. On occasion he snaps a picture through a porthole, like the first one of the cargo ship that was outside Annapolis harbor. The pastel sketch is a composite scene from two pictures he took: one of the Baltimore harbor at sunset and the second of a sister tugboat. Thanks, Jon. RB