I officiated at a funeral last week in which the adjective that most described the person we were celebrated was "stubborn". It was never said in a pejorative sense, but the family and others were very clear. This man was stubborn.
That got me thinking. There are a lot of stubborn people in the Bible. People who argue with God, who run away, who do their own thing in spite of anything that God might say. But that didn't take me far enough. I ended up talking about God's stubbornness.
After all we are talking about a person who kept on trying to make things with Israel work for centuries. God sends judges and prophets to shout, cry, whisper her love for the people. Always he is there waiting for them to turn around and finally see.
Then there is Jesus who surrounds himself with twelve men who just don't get what this whole dominion of God thing is about. He preaches, heals, tells stories, he even explains in words of one syllable and they still don't understand. Does he give up? Not a chance.
Then there is my own experience of God. Every time I tried to make a career anywhere else but in God's service I was patiently, but inevitably dragged back into the church. God out stubborned me (and that's a miracle in itself).
Paul talks about how God doesn't want anyone to be lost. Our God is a stubborn God. Stubborn in love. No matter how far we wander God stubbornly refuses to give up on us.
There is a reason we call God the rock of our salvation. He is as stubborn as a rock.