Wednesday, March 30, 2011

she kept begging Him

Mark 7:24-37
At once, a woman whose little daughter had, was under the control of, an unclean spirit heard about Him and came and flung herself down at His feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept begging Him to drive the demon out of her little daughter.

And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children's bread and throw it to the little house dogs.

But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children's scraps of food.

And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter permanently.

On Sunday, Pastor Tim talked about prayer and my heart opened up to a great truth: be bold, be honest. Pastor Tim said God always answers: sometimes He says NO, sometimes He says GROW (we need to grow/mature before God can give us what He has planned for us), sometimes He says SLOW (I am always in a hurry, God is not), and sometimes God says GO (or YES, my favorite answer).

For me, it is all about control. I want to know what to expect, what will happen, when I pray. But God is so unpredictable. You never know what He is going to do, or how He is going to answer. I realized then how much I want to control the outcome. Almost like I'd rather pray a lesser prayer and be more confident of the outcome, than to pray the bold prayer and worry about the rejection of getting a NO.

That's why this story is so important. Look how shamelessly bold this Greek woman is! She does not care even how Jesus answers her, she is relentless in her pursuit of a healing for her daughter. Father, this is how I want to be all the time. I want to be totally honest with what I want and think I need so You and I can wrestle with these things and I can receive Your answer in truth. I want to trust You so much that I can rest in You controlling the outcome.

However, contrast this with the story that follows about the deaf mute who was healed. He did NOTHING!! He said nothing. And still Jesus healed him. We cannot control Jesus by doing anything--it is ALL about HIS mercy.

Yesterday I had jury duty. As I went through the process of signing in, being called and questioned, it became very real to me that the judge was in control of my life for perhaps a few days, perhaps a few weeks. There was nothing I could do.

Free fall. That is really how life is, all else is an illusion of control. I need to give it up, Father, and ask for what I need and let the chips fall where they may. I need to rest in the fact of Your wisdom and Your love. In all cases, every answer, the NOs, GROWs, SLOWs and GOs are all a product of your love. You who made me, love me, saved me, are better at choosing. Let me say with those who saw you in Mark's gospel:

He has done everything excellently, commendably and nobly! He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!

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