I grew up on a private-way, dead-end street. It didn’t get any through traffic, so you could pay outside without worrying about much. It was quiet, too, so if you’re an adult, it could be very peaceful. But it also didn’t get the first attention from city services. When I was a kid, the road wasn’t paved, which made it fun for finding rocks to throw, but a mess for driving in bad weather Especially in the winter time. It could really be a dead end.
A few years ago, I stopped by a few of the neighbors on the street, to visit. It was winter time, and we got to talking about the street. The neighbor was telling me about the winter that they had had. “I miss your mother,” she said. How come? “Because so many times they didn’t plow the street. I would say to myself, ‘I wish Mrs. Kiley were here.’ Whenever it snowed, the plows wouldn’t come, and then I’d get a call from your Mom: ‘I just called the plows.’ And she would keep calling them until they came.’ I miss having your mother here.”
She was right. I remember it. That’s exactly what would happen every snow storm, every year, time and time again. My mother would get on that phone and call and call and call until that plow came. She wore them out! Because of that, everyone on my dead-end street could get out. I have seen it.
There’s a story in the Gospel where Jesus talks about the widow who goes to the judge, asking him to make a judgment for her against her adversary: “Vindicate me against my adversary.” (Lk 18:3) Now, just who do you think that widow might have been. Well, I think it was His mother. I think that after Joseph died, Mary wore the judges out as the Pharisees tried to take away her property to support the building projects, like they did with the other widows. It was like taking away her livelihood and snowing her in. And you know what? Jesus witnessed the judges act every time. Mary wore them out.
When the angel Gabriel came to Zechariah in the temple, he came in answer to his prayers. And his wife Elizabeth will finally get the vindication she wanted. She had no children, and the bloodline was going to die out. “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.” (Lk 1:25) I’m betting he made prayer after prayer. I bet they wore God out. And that’s how we got John the Baptist.
You know, I think it was the same when Gabriel came to Mary 6 months later. I think Mary had seen Israel, the People of God, snowed in, and where was God’s promised help? I bet she got on the line, calling frequent and often. I bet she prayed and prayed, vindicate me against my adversary.
Jesus didn’t come to Mary out of the blue. The Annunciation wasn’t something sprung on Mary like a curveball out of left field. No, Jesus was an answer to her prayers. She wore God out. That’s how we got the Savior.
It is the evening of the Last Supper. Jesus is about to have the last supper with His disciples, who have become close friends. Then, He is going to be handed over to the officials who will give Him a dead end. He knows what to do. He’s seen His mother do it. He’s a product of it. He’s done it before, and now He’s going to do it like He’s never done before. He’s going to get on the line with His Father, and He’s not going to stop asking. He’s going to wear God out.
And get everyone out of the dead end street.
When you are faced with a dead end, don’t underestimate the power you have in calling on God. Don’t stop your asking, wear Him out!
He’ll get you out. And the others with you.
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. (Heb 5:7-9)