Green Bean Wars and Camel Knees

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I knew I could outlast ‘em. 

Normally easy going, my mother seldom forced us to eat food we didn’t like. From my infancy, when I blew a raspberry shower of pureed spinach onto her glasses, Mom had always respected my aversion to green food. That day, however, she must have read the “5 Reasons Your Child Needs Green Beans” article in the latest Parents magazine. I watched in horror as she spooned five slimy green beans onto my dinner plate. 

“I don’t like green beans,” I reminded her. 

 “Well you can’t leave the table until you eat them,” she responded, crossing her arms for emphasis.

 Mealtime came and went. My other, more compliant, siblings choked down the required green bean quota and went out to play. Mom cleared the table, washed the dishes, and still I sat, staring at my plate. 

Considering my prospects, I noticed the longer the green beans sat, the more shriveled they became. If I waited long enough, I reasoned, perhaps they would shrivel up and disappear completely, and I would be emancipated. 

I determined to outlast them. 

After an hour of watching me from the other room, Mom stomped back into the kitchen, snatched up my plate, and said with a huff, “Oh, go outside for heaven’s sake!”

 I had won the green bean war. 

One day George Mueller began praying for five of his friends. After many months, one of them came to the Lord. Ten years later, two others were converted. It took 25 years before the fourth man was saved. Mueller persevered in prayer until his death for the fifth friend, and throughout those 52 years, he never gave up hoping he would accept Christ. His faith was rewarded, for soon after Mueller's death, the last one was saved.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, was such a man of prayer that he earned the nickname Camel Knees. 

Jacob the patriarch wrestled with the Angel of God and declared, “I will not let you go until you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). 

What are you wrestling in faith for? 

A prodigal child? A medical miracle? An impossible financial situation? A broken marriage? 

God promises, “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous (wo)man accomplishes much” (James 5).

He reminds us that “those who sow in tears shall reap in joy” (Psalm 126:5). 

And he challenges us not to “become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). 

 I encourage you to join me, George Mueller, James, and Jacob in praying with tenacity and determination. We can claim God’s promises with boldness and faith. With the Lord’s help, we can outlast ‘em!



This devotion is an excerpt from Lori’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

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  1. Good encouragement to persevere in prayer, Lori, and great intro story. Although I think it is your mother who should have persevered about the green beans, not you. : ) Naughty girl!

  2. Yes, I think she overlooked because I was a good girl in all the important matters. Green beans were my nemesis. But I've since repented and love them now :)

  3. Sharon2:25 AM

    Lori, thanks so much for dropping by my blog and leaving such kind words about my story about Marty. I have read all three of your posts about Winston. Just precious! Isn't it amazing how God teaches us lessons through these adorable animals? I feel certain that God has a very special purpose for them being in our lives.

    And this post was so cute. I remember those days of being *forced* to eat certain vegetables. The worst was brussels sprouts, my dad's favorite, which always made me gag. I love the spiritual lesson you pulled out of your delightful story. I have one very special person who isn't a believer, and I pray for him. I am inspired by you and George Mueller to pray even more.


  4. Julia Gibson9:54 AM

    I saw your post at Kendra's blog A 31 Proverbs Wife and clicked over. This was a great post and gentle reminder that things happen on God's timetable, not ours.

    Julia @ Mom on the Run x2

  5. George Mueller died without ever knowing whether his friend was going to come to the Lord or not. But I believe that he knew that He could trust the Lord with that, whether he lived to see it or not. I love the implication in that, because we can trust the Lord to be faithful to our loved ones, long after we are around to see it. God is faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!

  6. I loved the words you used for us to apply to prayer: tenacity and determination. Whether we are praying for a friend for salvation, or finances, a prodigal child, or whatever, those words will give our prayers the ump and stamina to keep praying even if the prayer is answered after our life has ended.

    Your posts are always such a blessing and I appreciate your faithfulness each week as you share what you write over at WholeHearted Home.