Be Bold

When I was in college, I learned real quick that if you needed something from the
financial aid office then you needed to be persistent to get it. In fact, by the time I
graduated from ECSU four years later every single financial aid employee knew
me by name and they worked with me to get things done quicker. I learned to be
annoying. I learned to transition the years of practice at being a little sister to
something that could be productive.

Not only was I always calling them and showing up in their offices, but I would
also encourage others to do the same saying that if you aren’t willing to be your
own advocate then nobody will. I was known to say that if you don’t make
yourself known then you will be lost in the system. There are a lot of people who
are fearful of making themselves burdensome or they are hesitant to ask
questions and seek answers because they fear what others might think. Or
perhaps they fear that they are not as important as others. Or that they will just
wait their turn and someone will get to them eventually. People are generally
hesitant to be their own advocates. I have seen it while working as a chaplain in a
hospital, while working with freshman on campus, and while helping with the
care of elderly people within my own family.

I believe that the same attitude often applies to our relationships with God.
Sometimes we are hesitant to ask God for assistance, or to bother God with a
problem, or to seek guidance on a matter that is important to us. Perhaps we are
hesitant because we underplay our own needs or perhaps we might be fearful of
what the response might be. I assure you, that whatever the issue might be, God
wants to be bothered. He wants us to start relying more heavily upon him in our
lives and in our community.

Charles Swindoll writes, “Do you need strength? Peace? Wisdom? Direction?
Discipline? Ask for it! God will hear you”. 1 We need to have the courage to ask
and to trust that our needs are just as important to God as they are to us. In our
scriptures we hear of Jacob’s encounter with God. We see Jacob as he was on his
way back from exile into his brother, Esau’s, territory. We can feel the fear Jacob
harbored against his brother because of the retaliation Esau promised the last
time they met. Jacob wrestled with his guilt and fear not wanting to go where
God needed him to go. Eventually, he met up with God searching for guidance
and clarity of purpose and this is exactly what he got though he suffered for it. He appealed to God for help and he was persistent. God heard his plea and

Later Jesus, too, shared with his followers a parable about persistence, about
never feeling that what we ask of God is too minute, too trivial for God to attend
to. We heard of a widow who sought justice and she sought the help and
guidance she needed. She became so annoying and persistent that the judge had
no other recourse but to attend to her needs. She was a widow and many just
expected her to fade into the background of society. She shouldn’t have been
making such a big deal her plight. In her society, she was amongst the most
vulnerable and thus people did not consider her needs as important as the needs
of others. Yet, she did not let that attitude dictate to her about the significance of
her needs. She boldly stood up and asked and stood her ground to get the justice
she desired.

She did not let her fear of the corrupt judge deter her from continuously seeking
the justice she deserved. She did not fade into the background. She was not
content with her lot in life as others would have been more comfortable with. She

stood up for what she knew was right. She held her head high and kept asking,
kept hoping for the change she desperately needed. A miracle was what she
received from the corrupt unfeeling judge. And if she was able to receive her
miracle from an uncaring hateful individual such as the judge, then how much
more will we receive from our God who loves and cares for our well being when
we are bold enough to share with God what is important to us in life.

As a society, we do not pray enough. We slog through our problems allowing life
and circumstances to continuously beat us down without truly looking to God for
the guidance and support we yearn for in life. Perhaps, we are too afraid to be
persistent, perhaps we are afraid to be bold enough to wrestle with God to gain
the clarity that we need. Whatever our fears, whatever our inhibitions, there are
times in this life when they need to be placed aside so that we can seek comfort
and direction in the Lord. God will grant us strength, clarity, guidance, and
direction if we only seek it out. We have to be willing to do our part, to invest
ourselves and to seek the just cause. We should do this as individuals and as
churches. I believe that we need God’s assistance and guidance more than ever
before. It is about time, that we start praying and asking for the direction and

purpose we need. It is our challenge this week and every week, to boldly step
before our God and to ask him to fill our needs, to comfort our souls, to light our
paths forward, and to provide us with exactly what we need to find purpose and
contentment in this life. So seek the inspiration to advocate for yourselves with
God from our scriptures, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God
bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he
keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly”. 2

1 Charles Swindoll, 21st century pastor and author.

2 Luke 18: 6-8, NIV.