As I continue to share with you these powerful passages that saw me through the dark days of my physical suffering, I’m thankful that all the lessons and the fruits that have evolved from my trials have not come to nothing. The trials were deep and hard, but now I can draw out of this well deeper, richer, and more colorful resources to share.
THE CANAANITE WOMAN
(Bible reading: Matthew 15:21-28)
The Lord Jesus went to the coasts of Tyre and Sidon and encountered a woman of Canaan, or Syrophenician (Greek; Mark 7:26), which the Jews considered a foreigner.
This story of the Canaanite woman is one of faith. FAITH is one precious thing in the heart of God. Our salvation, and the very essence of our redeemed lives, all depend on our faith.
For without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb. 11:6)
So how did this foreign woman prove her faith in the Lord, move Him to compassion, and receive the desire of her heart?
- The woman needed something so much only the Lord could give: the healing of her demon-possessed daughter. Now, we know that the heart of a loving and caring mother beats strongly for her child. And this woman, having encountered the Lord Jesus, would not relent nor give up until she had received the answer to her petition. She cried to the Lord and begged for His mercy. But something unusual happened: THE LORD SPOKE NOT A WORD, AS IF HE DIDN’T HEAR HER!
Haven’t we experienced this silence from the Lord? Haven’t we been in the same predicament as the woman: begging God to help us but all we hear is a painful and deafening silence? Sure we have!
But the Canaanite woman didn’t lose heart. No, not a bit, for she besought the Lord’s disciples instead.
- The Lord said that He was sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In effect, He was excluding her, being a foreigner, from receiving His healing grace. That was painful, but the woman didn’t run away in bitterness, self-pity, or defeat. Instead, SHE FLUNG HERSELF AT JESUS’ FEET AND WORSHIPED!
Isn’t this what Apostle Paul meant when he said “DILIGENTLY seek Him”?
- The woman was at His feet crying for help, but the Lord told her that “it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”. But the poor and “embattled” woman didn’t know how to harbor self-pity nor bitterness. Her heart contained only steadfast faith and humility, and hope and love for her suffering daughter.
The woman answered, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.”
I am crying now as I write this. This encounter of the Canaanite woman with the Lord was so like mine, and it happened many, many times during the long stretch of my suffering and trial. I ACTUALLY PRAYED IT (the woman’s answer) numerous times, begging the Lord to throw me “crumbs” of His healing grace, as I wait and willingly and gratefully accept them.
- We can always count on Jesus’ compassion. When He has proven our UNDYING faith to Him and has seen our humility, He will lovingly and graciously answer and show us His goodness and mercy.
Our healing, our good health and strengh, is a part of God’s will for us. We must not lose heart in asking Him for it.
SURELY HE TOOK UP OUR PAIN AND BORE OUR SUFFERING, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and BY HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED. (Isaiah 53:4,5, NIV 2010, emphasis added)
The Lord assesses our faith: whether we have no faith (Mark 4:40), of little faith (Mat. 8:26), or of great faith (Mat. 15;28). The Canaanite woman showed great faith that the Lord was amazed.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: BE IT UNTO THEE EVEN AS THOU WILT. (Mat. 15:28, emphasis added)
And the Lord healed the woman’s daughter at that very hour.
And He had mercy on me and has healed me, and continue to do so.
I hope that you’ve felt Jesus’ sweet presence in this HOLY ENCOUNTER and received His healing grace.