Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Never take 'no' for an answer

A woman once came to Jesus to ask for healing. She was a Canaanite. Now there was a history here, two races that hated one another. The children of Israel had attempted to wipe out her people when they arrived to settle the Holy Lands. A thousand years later that enmity was as strong as ever. So it says something about her that she believed in this man and his ability to heal enough to leave her comfort zone and go to him. But when she finds him, she asks him to have mercy on her for her daughter is grieviously vexed with a devil. I can sympathize. I raised three kids and am currently caring for my 4-month-old 'grand' during the day. Maybe she was asking for the patience and love to deal with the situation. Whatever her motive, Jesus does not answer her. That seems so unlike him. Yet, surely he knew the need. His disciples didn't show either compassion or patience. Their recommendation was for him to tell her to go away. He doesn't do that either but reminds them that he had come to save those lost sheep of the Children of Israel. She must have heard that but still she did not give up and go away. She comes closer and worships him, addressing him as Lord. He says that it would not be right to take what is meant for the Jews and give it to those who do not believe. But her answer to that is given in true humility. He has just compared her to a dog and yet she is willing to take whatever crumbs of comfrot he will give her. At last, her persistence is rewarded because her faith was so great. Rewarded beyond what she may have envisioned, for instead of granting her fortitude to deal with a possessed child, he healed the child and removed the source of the problem altogether.

In the same section of this week's Bible lesson there is a quote from II Corinthians: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new". That is one of the things I love about Christian Science. All those old habits and long held ideas can be changed, they can just drop away. That woman's child was healed in that very hour of something that must have been there for a long time. I am always alert to any place in the Scriptures where 'behold' is used. It is a call to really pay attention, because what is going to be said next is of major importance. Behold. See this. Turning to the Christ, choosing to see ourselves as God sees, makes things new.

This time of the year, many trees drop their leaves. An article I read explained that it happens because the new bud that will develop into a new leaf, is now formed and it pushes the old one out of the way. The old one drops off and the new one is established in its place, ready to come to full bloom at the right time. Things become new.

Don't take 'no' for an answer, persist with your prayers, God hears you and He keeps His promises.

Go in peace.

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