Ping pong champ

Ping pong has been a lifelong game for me.  My dad taught all of his daughters to play as soon as we could hold a paddle and reach the table.  Many discussions took place and many lessons were learned from the other side of the table.  My dad taught us the game, made sure we understood the rules, and always offered advice and encouragement to better our game.  But he never LET us win...  Not until we could really beat him.  The most often quoted reminder for us was simply... "Never miss a serve!" 
Fast forward just a few years... our family has had a ping pong table on and off for most our children's lives.  Just sayin'.... for many years, I WAS the ping pong champ.  Clay has continued to play; he was even in the ping pong club in Middle School!  :)  So we played on.  No matter who scored first, the reminder came from the winner of the first point... 7-0 equals a skunk.  Now for those of you not in the ping pong lingo know, a "skunk" means that you just aren't very good at ping pong, aka... you stink - you can't even score ONE point to the winner's 7 points.  For years we have played, and I would often use the same reminder that I had heard so often... Never miss a serve.  So, why is that such good advice?  From a bottom line perspective, the analysis is easy.  Your serve is your given point.  You have the control over the game; you can choose to place the ball at a certain weak spot on your opponent's side of the table; you can even try a fancy shot with an English spin... just keep the ball on the table... Never miss a serve.
Two weeks ago Clay won our game.  Honestly, I thought it must be a fluke.  It wasn't.  He can now consistently beat me, not easily, not with his right hand (He is left-handed!), but he is winning most every game we play. 
So what does winning a ping pong game have to do with living by faith and coffee?  Hmmm... do you remember the story that Jesus told in Luke 18 about the persistent widow, she is called.  She needed justice - we don't know exactly what justice she needed, but she didn't give up - she kept going back.  So much so that the judge replied to her pleas with these words from the Amplified Bible verse 5:
I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on me or assault me or strangle me.
Jesus followed with an explanation in verses 6-8 from The Message:
So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”
Some of us have been praying for justice or understanding or relief or financial peace or _________, you fill in the blank, for a very long time.
Jesus' reminder to us is clear.  We serve and pray to THE God who cares about His children, His chosen people.  I  would never assume to know the plan for a particular prayer from God's perfect vantage  point, but what I do feel confident in saying that His desire is for our persistent faith.  His decision and timing are perfect.  Keep praying!  Don't give up.  God is so for you!

 Just so you know... our ping pong tournament continues...  I'm not giving up either!  :)

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