One day, there was a Canaanite woman who sought Jesus for help, needing Him to do something impossible. Her precious daughter was possessed by a dreadful demon and where else could she fine help but in Jesus? Unfortunately, she evidently chose the wrong day to come. Jesus had only just entered a house to seclude Himself from all the crowds when she arrived. To her heartfelt pleas, no one felt a need to answer her, except His disciples who wanted her sent away. After all of the people who had received answers from Jesus, today it looked like there was nothing more to be had.
What would have happened if the woman had turned away, deciding that she didn’t actually need to see a miracle for her daughter?
“You’re right, Jesus. I can live without that.”
In one way, nothing would have happened. She would have returned home, found her daughter still demon-possessed, and kept living in the nightmare of which she was a part. Simultaneously, she would have forfeited one of the most blessed moments of her life and consciously chosen agony over grace. Would we not mourn over her life for foolishly disregarding the opportunity for mercy?
Thankfully, Jesus’ well of mercy had not run dry that day and neither had His desire to bless those who came in faith. On the exact day when the Canaanite women came begging for help, Jesus had a difficult, merciful plan in mind to demonstrate His grace. He had a perfect plan that looked harsh and unkind but was actually overflowing with grace.
How many times while Jesus lived on earth did He reprimand people for trusting Him too much, staking too much claim on His promises, and desiring too much of His mercy for their brokenness? Can you hear him say it:
“I’m sorry. I know you thought I could help you. You even thought I wanted to, but this time you believed too much. You made my mercy out to be bigger than it actually is. I’m glad you thought I was the answer to your need, but what you really need is to just go home. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine without me.”
Oh, no! It was not like that! Not one time do we hear that Jesus turned people away who came humbly to Him asking for mercy. He delayed at times, verified their faith before answering, or tested them after giving the grace they requested, but He did not turn them away.
The Canaanite woman came to Jesus knowing two things: 1) Jesus, the Promised Messiah, was her all-sufficient, only hope and 2) she could not leave without His grace.
Can I live without His grace? If I choose such a thing, I too would be picking agony over God’s blessing. How little of an expectation for God’s blessing do we possess at times, all while the depth of our need is incredibly great. Instead of foolishly giving up, we need God-given determination to seek for real mercy until He gives it- because we cannot live without the grace of God.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” -Hebrews 11:6