The Canaanite woman knew what she wanted. She knew only he could answer her prayer. She was determined to have her request granted. She was persistent.
She was a mom on a mission.
Her name isn’t given, but it doesn’t need to be because…she is every mother. She is you. She is me.
“Lord, son of David, have mercy on me!” She cried out.
She was in agony. Like any mama, she was physically experiencing her child’s misery. “My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Or… “My child is suffering terribly from a broken relationship, an illness, an injury….”
She would not be discouraged or dissuaded, even though the disciples urged The Lord to send her away. At the very least, this Gentile woman was distracting, annoying. The men whined, “She keeps crying after us.” (That motley crew of twelve was not going to get in her way. Never mess with a determined mother.) She knew who and what she needed. This mom persisted in her humble and honest cries that come from a broken heart.
But Jesus…he was quiet.
Isn’t that the hardest part? We cry out, beg, chase after him on behalf of our children…and he is quiet.
The woman knew she needed what only Jesus could provide. She was not about to leave his presence empty-handed.
Even when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” she didn’t give up. Instead of tossing her arms in the air and stomping off, she came closer and knelt before him.
“Lord, help me!” She knew with him, nothing was impossible.
“It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” He continued to test her faith.
“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” She responded with tenacity and in spite of the circumstances…even a little spunk!
“Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” The Lord healed her daughter that very hour.
Having faith when things are difficult is …well…difficult.
I’ve been there. I suspect I’ll be there again. When my children hurt, I hurt. Like the Canaanite mother, I pursue Jesus. I want to be near him when I petition on my kids’ behalf. And… like the Canaanite mom, I know he will hear me.
He works all things to the good for those who love him.
Like her, I will persistently seek Jesus for the sake of my kids. I may need to wait and trust his perfect timing. (I must say I do like the phrase, “That very hour.”) And when I do, I know my faith will deepen in the waiting and persevering space.
He will answer.
I am the Canaanite woman… a mom on a mission. (Matthew 15:21-29, Mark 7:24-30)
Have you ever been a “mom on a mission,” asking God to meet the needs of your child?
Lori Wildenberg, co-founder of Corinthians 13 Parenting, has more than twenty-five years’ experience working with children and parents. She’s an author, national speaker, a licensed Parent and Family Educator, and co-columnist for Parenting Prose found in MARRIAGE Magazine. Lori weaves warmth, transparency, and gentle humor into her realistic approach to raising kids today. Mostly, Lori is a mom of four and has been married to Tom for thirty-one years. The Wildenbergs (and their labradoodle) live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.