Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 ESV

The Widow Who Persevered

In Luke 18:1–8, we find a parable of the positive outcomes of persistence. In the society of Jesus’ day, a widow was the most helpless of all people, rarely noticed by passersby on the street. No children were around to keep this destitute woman company, so either she had none or she was older, and her children were away, living their own lives.

The judge she chose to pester was a man who regarded no one but himself, not even God. The laws were his to make, at least in his opinion.

This poor woman needed assistance, and for whatever reason, she either had no other options about which judge was available or perhaps he was the only judge in her area. Whatever the case, the widow needed help, and he was aggravated by her continual insistence on attention to her need.

This woman had nothing, but she knew the judge could assist in correcting her situation. Thus, she hounded his every step, for it was the only weapon she had available to accomplish the task at hand.

Her tireless resolve finally pushed him into action. He was weary of her doggedly putting her issue before him, so he decided to make a ruling in her case. The judge did not make his decision from a sense of justice or sympathy but from self-preservation. He wanted her to go away to save himself from further inconvenience and annoyance; thus, he decreed in her favor.

The Cat That Persevered

In early November 2022, I experienced a similar tenacity from a cat. A ginger-colored stray decided it wanted to adopt my schnauzer and me. The furry wisp was friendly, loving, and wanted inside the house. Its affection was so strong that I figured it had been abandoned rather than being an average, shaggy vagrant. A skittish, feral cat that roamed the neighborhood, it was not.

Gus, my schnauzer, and I had recently moved to northeast Washington from Michigan. One summer day, as I was driving up the very steep hill to the house, I spotted the feline down near the road. I noticed that it was missing more than half of its tail. Even though it was all healed, the lack of a tall, fluffy tail made it stand out.

Later, I saw it down by a neighbor’s private road. I learned that in the winter, she keeps her barn available to the stray cats as a safe place to stay, so naturally, I thought it would want to be where it could be warm in the winter and get a little food. Not so.

That cat, for whatever reason, decided to set up housekeeping under the shed a short distance from my house, which is where it would spend the night. During the day, it would stroll onto the deck to the front door and untiringly meow to be let in. When Gus and I would go for walks, we would go out the back door. As soon as it heard us, it strolled with us, nearly tripping me by wrapping itself around my legs or trying to rub against Gus.

One day, it walked with us to the bottom of the hill, but it hid in the shadows when it saw other people. As a result, I started to drive to the bottom of the hill, so Gus and I could walk in peace.

This cat persevered in wanting a home with us. I did nothing to encourage it. I used a snow shovel to gently push it away to keep it from coming into the house when I needed to let my dog and myself enter the door.

Even though I am a dog person, I have made my peace with cats, but I do not want them inside my home. Therefore, I began petitioning the God who knows when a sparrow falls (Matthew 10:29). I thought surely, He would also care about another member of His creation. Also, I had family and friends putting forth heavenward requests on behalf of this cat. I knew it would not survive the winter because it would not return to where it could find suitable shelter.

I called a local no-kill sanctuary, but they were full. A local veterinarian’s office offered several options, but my phone messages went unheeded. Finally, the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, I found the Facebook page for lost pets in the area. Someone had posted in May 2022 about a cat in town that looked just like the cat on my doorstep.

I contacted the young lady and sent her pictures of the furball. She agreed to come out the next day to check on it. The poor thing was terrified of this lady and her dad, but it wanted the food they offered. In the end, they hid, and because it trusted me to a degree, I was able to easily get it into the cat carrier. God’s timing was perfect because the snow began to fall in earnest two days later.

God did care about the kitty and sent it to a loving home. His name is now Oliver, and he purrs when he is petted. Many petitions before the throne of the all-caring God and the persistence of a cat were fruitful for all involved.

Call to Action

Are you not receiving answers to the supplications you put before the Throne of Grace? God loves hearing from His children, so He often waits for the most opportune moments to reply. That means we possess the privilege of lingering with Him a bit longer.

Savor that time with Him. The answer will come in the best manner possible—perhaps by an unexpected means—but one way or another, a response will come from on High. Be persistent.

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