And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs (Luke 11:5-8).
What would you do if one of your friends showed up at midnight and asked you for help? Would you tell them that it’s late and to come back in the morning? Would you be upset with them for showing up at such an ungodly hour? What if that friend came to you because they had faith that you would be able to help them? They could have gone to a relative or someone else but they chose to come to you. What would you do?
The man in Jesus’ story went to his friend because he had nothing to give his guest to eat. Could you imagine having nothing in your home to feed a visiting relative or friend? That seems unlikely but not impossible. This man wanted to give his friend something to eat. The friend came to his house from a journey. It might have been a long and tiring journey. It’s possible that he stopped at his house for rest and something to eat. The man couldn’t bear to see his friend go hungry so he left his own home and went to another friend to ask for three loaves of bread.
At first the friend doesn’t want to help him. It’s late and very inconvenient. He doesn’t want to get out of his nice warm bed but his friend was very persistent. He had come all that way in faith. So, the man got out of his bed, got the bread and gave it to the man. The man was very grateful to him and left, happy.
There are times when people come to us for help but we are reluctant to act for any number of reasons. Sometimes it’s the inconvenience or the lack of resources or we may simply feel that we’re not the best person to help them. The man in the parable had what his friend needed but he was reluctant to give it to him because of the late hour. His friend went out of his way to get something for his visitor. He manifested the love of God who never makes us feel like we are inconveniencing Him. He’s there to help us 24/7. All we have to do is go to Him in faith just as this man went to his friend in faith. And our persistence shows the extent or depth of our faith. We don’t give up because we know that God will come through for us. In spite of his friend’s uncharitable response, the midnight visitor persisted and it paid off.
So, what would you do if a friend or relative or neighbor came to your house at an inopportune time?