Everything is all right

F076FB87-4093-45A9-BBCC-FBDCA513BD18Everything is all right. Curious words to say at a time like this. Today the world stays home. We wear masks and gloves to go out in public. We are denied human contact and interaction. There is economic downfall. Businesses are scrambling for loans to stay afloat. Unemployment lines are long. We hear words like “death toll” commonly used on the news. Today we await briefing from our government on what is happening and what is to come. But still, everything is all right.

Long ago, there was a woman with an old husband and a young son. In a moment’s time, the boy became ill and died. The woman asked her husband for a servant and a donkey so she could go see  the man of God. This man of God was the prophet Elisha who had foretold the boy’s birth and had “given” him to her because of her kindness in providing him lodging as he passed through their town.  The husband said, “Why go to him today? It’s not a New Moon or Sabbath.” She replied, “Everything is all right.” (2 Kings 4:23).

What? Everything is all right? Her son had just died. All right doesn’t seem to be a good description.
As you read through the chapter, the woman  comes toward Elisha, and Elisha tells his servant to go meet her and ask, “Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your son all right?” She answered, “Everything is all right.” When she finally reaches Elisha, she clings to his feet. Elisha’s servant tries to push her off, but Elisha stops him and says that the woman is in severe anguish. Anguish and all right do not belong in the same sentence. Or, do they?  The woman clings to Elisha and refuses to leave him. “ As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” ( 2 Kings 4:30)

What can this mean? In God’s sovereignty, could this have been placed here to remind us that we can be in anguish, but still be all right as we cling to God? Everything can be all right as we look to the One who is in charge of all things and we refuse to leave Him. Today, Christians, we are in anguish. Today, we see suffering. But also, everything is all right. May God give us the faith of this woman to declare that we won’t leave Him. Only then can everything be all right.

 

 

 

 

Dog Crumbs

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

Matthew 15

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, grea

Maybe you’re familiar with these verses.  Maybe, like me, you’ve struggled with these verses and Jesus’s seeming harshness with this Gentile woman.  I mean, after all, she is begging mercy on behalf of her child and He seems to be ignoring her.   The disciples want Him to send her away, but instead, He says that He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  In other words, to the Jews, not the Gentiles. But the woman isn’t dissuaded. No loving mother would be.  Again she asks Him for help.  And then Jesus says something that at first glance could make your heart break.

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Wait a minute.  Dogs? Is He basically calling her a dog?

I want you to take a look at the picture at the top of this page.  This is my dog, Lily.  Now, Lily isn’t just some dog off the street.  She is a beloved member of our family.  I value  her.   I take care of her.  I feed her, I protect her with shelter, medication, etc.  I make sure she has what she needs.  But, my children’s needs have priority over her.  If it came down to it, my children would absolutely come before my dog.  So, if we can get that beloved pet picture in our minds, Jesus’s words seem to make more sense.  “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  Not street mutts, but beloved pets.  Jesus wasn’t demeaning the woman.  He was proclaiming priority.

And then our persevering  woman says,

“Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”  Next, Jesus applauds the woman’s faith and He gives her what she was after.

These verses hit me this past week.  I easily put myself in the woman’s position.  It seems like I’ve been praying for specific relief in an area and all I’m met with is silence.  I’ve been crying out, “Lord, have mercy on us.” And still, the situation remains dire.  So when I read this, I realized a couple of things.

First, I’m not a beloved pet. I’m an adopted daughter.  I don’t just get the crumbs that fall off the table.  I am seated at the feast. The children of the house are always cared for.

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