We heeded the request as we ate our sandwiches sitting on the quay of Conway Harbour, enjoying the idyllic setting on a chilly yet beautiful early spring day. All seemed well when, quite unexpectedly, and without warning, a seagull swooped down seemingly out of nowhere and, whilst in mid-flight, attempted to snatch a sandwich out of my hand, bashing the back of my head on the way through. It caused quite a commotion, I can tell you! We all sat there shocked by the sheer barefaced cheek and tenacity of our feathered invader. It was like a scene out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. This bird was not going to be put off in spite of our adherence to the public warning. So much so, he attempted a second kamikaze style swoop which, this time, succeeded in its quest to secure my sandwich. A piece of it, at least!
A little later, upon reflection, there was something about the offending gull’s belligerent determination that I admired. Nothing was going to prevent him from, at the very least, doing all he could to secure that much sought-after morsel. He was desperate for food and this desperation drove him to, arguably, an extreme act of bravery.
I was reminded of Jacob. Jacob was desperate for God’s blessing. This desperation drove him to an extreme act of belligerent determination as he clung-on to God and exclaimed: “I will not let you go unless you bless me,” (Genesis 32:26b – NIV). I wonder, are we (am I) desperate for God like that? So possessed by an insatiability of desire for God and His blessing that we might even risk a departure from what might be considered good manners or normal protocol.
Because of his persistence, Jacob secured from God what he sought. God blessed him. I am encouraged by this. It seems to me that God rewards persistence. It has been said: “The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running.” (Source Unknown). Among other things, fulfilling God’s will for our lives is reaching our total God-given human and spiritual potential. We don’t have to be geniuses to do this, but we do need to be persistent and keep on keeping on regardless of our circumstances.
James Denney, Scottish Theologian and Preacher (1856 – 1917) once said:
“The Kingdom of God is not for the well-meaning, it’s for the desperate.”
My dear praying friends, keep on keeping on regardless of your circumstances, and may the Lord God bless your persistence.