“And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly” – Matthew 15:21-28 (ESV)
This is my favorite example of faith in the Bible. It reminds me not to be offended by what I hear from Jesus or other brothers and sisters in Christ and to keep pressing in. It is so easy to be offended at what others say because of misunderstanding or the unawareness of what is really going on in either the physical or spiritual realm. Even when I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me it is often something I would not naturally want to hear or some sort of correction in my life. If I am not careful, I could easily forget that God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6-11).
I have read these verses countless times and yet every time I am inspired by the Canaanite woman’s example. She does not take offense or demand respect from the disciples who reject her and ask Jesus to send her away. She is not offended when Jesus does not respond or answer her. Rather, she pressed in. She knelt before Him and asked again. Jesus then responds by comparing her to a dog. Most would have walked away angry, hurt, and possibly would have rejected Jesus or at least stopped talking to Him. But not this woman, she had complete faith in Him still. She shows respect, says, “Yes, Lord.”, and keeps pressing in and tells Him she will take whatever crumbs fall from the table. She is humble and submissive to His authority while continuing to press in even though the words He speaks are hard to hear. She refuses to give up.
This makes me think, “Am I willing to continue pressing in even when I don’t get a response right away?” This encourages me to press in and keep talking, keep asking until I do hear from Him. We need to not get discouraged too quickly when we can’t discern His voice or have not heard Him speak to us as we expect or when we expect Him to. This woman took God’s hard-to-hear words and kept pressing in and trusting Him and His sovereignty.
Many times when hearing from God, He has brought correction into my life. He has shown me and told me things that were hard to hear. I know that He was telling me them for my good. He wants to shape us and mold us into the image of Jesus Christ, something far greater than we could imagine. We need to continue to press into Jesus no matter how long it takes to hear His response or if the response we get is not what we expect. We need to continue to grow closer to Him, strive to be more like Him, and display His characteristics to those around us so that they may be drawn to Him.
Remember the faith of this woman and how she was richly blessed in the end after trusting Jesus and pressing into Him despite the pain and heartache. She did not give up. I pray that we all would continue to press into Jesus and that we would embrace and accept His timing and guidance. I pray that we would all hear Him more clearly and recognize His voice. I pray that we would all be as this woman who trusted God in it all. I pray that we would see God moving powerfully in our lives and that as we press into Jesus and draw closer to Him, we would see and take every opportunity around us to share His Glory.
Written by Rebecca Murzin