How great and tender is a mother’s love? How many lessons do we learn from them?
A young girl once came to her mother for advice. The daughter had graduated from school with honors, but was having difficulty in her career. Every time she tried to move forward, it seemed she was pushed back. Every plan she made seemed to fail and every endeavor she undertook bore no fruit.
She was hurt, and frustrated and in despair. She asked her mother if she should just give up, leave the city and come back home. “I’m beaten every time,” she said, “I feel I should just quit.”
Her mother took her daughter’s hand looked tenderly into her eyes and said, “my dear, did you ever notice that when the Lord told the discouraged fishermen to cast their nets again, it was right in the same old spot where they had been fishing all night and caught nothing?”
It was a mother’s love that brought the Canaanite woman to the feet of Jesus crying, “Lord, Son of David, Have pity on me.” It was her persistence that made her risk ridicule and humiliation, all for the love of her daughter. She came to ask Jesus to heal her child. And though Jesus refused her, three times, she would not take no for an answer. Did He refuse her because she was a pagan or was it perhaps because Jesus saw here an opportunity to praise the faith of one who was considered faithless?
The woman persisted, bearing the insults for the sake of her daughter and Jesus finally relented, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
What can we learn from this unnamed Canaanite woman? We can learn how to approach God, with humility, and faith, and persistence. God does not refuse anyone who comes to Him truly wishing to enter into His grace.
Perseverance comes from faith. We continue to fight the good fight, even when it seems like we are losing, because we have faith that God is leading us to greatness. We may feel we are making no progress, but we must be humble enough to realize that we do not see as God sees.
Even in apostolic times there were those who were disappointed that Jesus had not returned to usher in the new kingdom. It was left to Peter to remind them.
“But there is one thing, my dear friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8-9)
All are called. And all may approach God with faith and humility and persistence. And all may hear “great is your faith, as you have believed, so let it be done for you.”