Perhaps you have a relationship with people in your life with whom you have an “open door policy.” You know, the kind of understanding where you are free to drop in on them at any time with no invitation and they will be ready to welcome you no matter what is going on. Or maybe you have told other close friends or family members that they are free to drop on by your place whenever they need. Those examples reveal a powerful and close relationship and friendship where being inconvenienced never describes these encounters. Think about the relational level you have to be at with someone to have that kind of access.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like inconveniencing people. I know that it happens and much of it is out of my control or level of awareness, but when I can help it, I go to great lengths to make sure that no one is having to wait for me or wait on me. Now, I must admit that my reasoning for this or behind this is not necessarily for the purest of reasons. Sure, on one hand, there is the reality that by me not inconveniencing anyone then they won’t have to be annoyed by something I do or don’t do. For example, some people consider it an inconvenience to be late for things so, in theory, if I help ensure they are not late because of me then I will make them happy. However, the not-so-good side of this endeavor to never inconvenience people is that I don’t always ask for or accept help as often as I should. I can find myself trying to handle things on my own so as to avoid “inconveniencing” or “bugging” others to offer me assistance. This is not such a healthy attitude either. All of us can find ourselves, at times, going back and forth on this continuum to varying degrees in our lives too.
Enter our next story time with Jesus. In this week’s parable from Luke 11, we read about a very inconveniencing situation where a person woke up his friend at midnight and asked him for some food because he was hosting someone at his house and did not have anything to give him. Talk about a hassle and an inconvenience! I’m not sure how some of you would handle a situation like this, but I don’t know that my midnight response to a question like that would be so positive or understanding.
But Jesus did not tell us this story to shock us about how audacious this person was in their request. Rather, He tells us this story because it is a lesson on prayer. It showcases the immense patience and availability of our Heavenly Father who is more than willing to listen to, hear, and answer our requests to Him at any hour of the day or night. Sometimes, we fail to bring our requests to God. We choose not to bug Him with our trivial things or inconvenience Him with the things on our hearts. But Jesus invites us to ask, seek, and knock knowing that our call with be answered. We are given the access and the confidence to know that the door is always open, that we will be welcomed in, and that we have such a relationship with God the Father that we can swing on by anytime for anything. How amazing is that!
Pastor Ben Bigaouette