Matthew 15 21-28
Jesus left Genneraset and took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.”
Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.”
Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.”
Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.”
He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”
She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.”
Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!”
Right then her daughter became well.
There will be a time for everyone when they will suffer, either through their own pain or often the pain of someone close to them. And it is usually then that we return to our prayers, to our church, to our faith.
But who do we return to? To a God that punishes through illness or despair, to a God that gives judgement, to a God that doesn’t care? If so, why bother?
Should we believe that God will always take the pain away – will create a miracle of healing? Well, yes we should. But it may not be the miracle we expect. Perhaps the healing will be a new attitude, a different perspective, an acceptance of the reality of life. And with that healing, the recognition that we are not alone when we suffer; God is always Emmanuel – God who is with us. Befriending, sharing, carrying, walking the journey.