I HAD TROUBLE sleeping last night. Two friends sent me e-mails (Don't they always say "Don't check e-mail before bed?") asking me to keep an eye out for job openings for them.
These can be anxious times. We ask God for peace and patience as we ride these troubled waters.
In this vein, in today's reading from the Coptic Lectionary, Luke 11:1-10, our Lord speaks of persistent knocking and tells the parable of a needy friend coming in the night.
St. Augustine writes,
We have heard our Lord, the Heavenly Master, and most faithful Counselor encouraging us, who at once encourages us to ask, and gives when we ask. We have heard Him in the Gospel encouraging us to ask instantly, and to knock even in a way that resembles intrusive begging...[He] would not surely encourage us so strongly to ask, if He were not willing to give.
Let then the laziness of men be put to shame; He is more willing to give, than we to receive; He is more willing to show mercy, than we to be delivered from misery; and, no doubt, if we will not be delivered, we will abide in misery. For the encouragement He gives us, He gives only for our own sakes.*
In a sense, St. Augustine is saying that, in a time of anxiety or need, don't be distant and formal with God: be pushy. God invites us to.
*Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, Sermon 55.