Growing up I struggled with my life as we all do. My struggle always brought me to God. From my perspective He didn’t answer many of my desperate prayers despite my unceasing attempts. BUT despite that my faith only deepened, grew and strengthened. I often felt abandoned which made apparent the weaknesses of my soul.
Many struggle with the importance of prayer. Some people think God doesn’t have the time. Some think that if their plan is predetermined then what’s the point. God is outside of time so he has plenty of time for prayer so don’t ever think that. He can stop time and spend half an eternity on just your prayer and then start time all over. Also God is not limited to one plan. He’s more creative than the greatest artist and can create multiple variations of the plan that still work to the same result.
Prayer is your declaration of faith. Faith is His grace working inside of you. Jesus desires your prayer. It’s your human manifestation of love being communicated to God. There’s no worthiness, entitlement or any rights involved on our part. We are all equally worthless. We are confessing that we’re nothing without Him. Nothing without Jesus and His grace. 
Theology is the study of the nature of God. A theologian is an expert in theology. Martin Luther gave us rules to become a theologian. The rules are prayer and meditation on His word. This is followed by struggle. In our struggles, faith desperately clings to the Word of God. His grace fuels our Faith in our struggles. Today’s Gospel is a perfect demonstration of that.
Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. These are unrepentant Gentile pagan port cities located in modern Lebanon on the Mediterranean coast just south of Beirut.
A Canaanite woman from this pagan area came out and was crying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; …” 
A Gentile, pagan woman not only approaches a Jewish man but she cries out to Him in prayer as if He is a God and refers to Him as the Jewish Messiah. Actually, not just a Gentile pagan but a Canaanite. Canaanites are one of Israel’s oldest enemies. Are these the eyes of faith that recognize, know and acknowledge Jesus? Will our heart, mind and soul tell our eyes to recognize Jesus when we see Him? 
This woman recognizes Him and it appears that His word has found fertile soil in her heart. How could this woman know Jesus was there? How had she heard about Him? The good news traveled fast in the world back then. How fast do we spread the gospel today? How fast can we make it travel with our technology? I’m sure this woman sought help from her people and their Gods but still her daughter was suffering. Ever put your faith in something that failed you? Ever felt let down by everyone around you? Felt desperate and alone? In despair? 
This woman’s daughter is severely oppressed by a demon. A fallen angel. A demon is terrorizing her little daughter. This mother is desperate. What would you do for your baby? Your precious little one? Imagine the questions this woman has. Why us? Why my daughter? Where can I find help? We can only imagine behind the scenes with her. The truth we have tells us this woman is a great example of what we should do.
She cries out to Jesus but He did not answer her. How do you see this? Is this a test? Does God test your faith? Does God seem uninterested in you? We think these things because we’re weak and foolish.
Could it be that the delay gives the woman an opportunity to meditate on and find God? Time to meditate on God. A timely delay so that she will overcome? A brief moment for His grace to overwhelm her from the inside out? To exponentially transform her faith.
Do we dwell on God? Do we meditate on Him? Do we read, reflect and rejoice on His word? Make time for God. Get away from all distractions. What does the bible says about waiting on the Lord?
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”  – Isaiah 40:31
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. – Lamentations 3:25
When I was young I turned to God in personal, intimate prayer but I often did not turn to scripture. What if we turned to scripture in times of prayer and let the Word of God mold the focus of our prayer and reshape the outcome of what we prayed for?
His disciples begged Him to send her away. This can sound very negative on the part of the disciples. Do you think the disciples were used to Jesus ignoring people or granting their prayers? Do you think they understood the motives of Jesus? Do we? Or were they just like us? Prone to moments of weakness and foolishness. Are they seeing her as a Canaanite enemy. The Jews saw them as unclean dogs. Less than human. Are they giving in to racism and judgement? Do they really think think is what Jesus is doing?
Jesus finally answers, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’
His answer reveals the “commissioned” plan of the Jewish Messiah to bring about redemption in the Jewish Nation so it could then be carried to all the world. Do you find this answer helpful? Does it help when you’re hurting? Does it make sense to you? Does this Gentile woman understand Him? She already knew who He was. She called Him “Lord” and “Son of David.” I believe this was also to make a point to the disciples.
This woman not only finds Jesus but then finds her way to His feet and prostrates herself before Him. She is worshiping Him! She goes to her knees, with her head on His feet she says, “Lord, help me. She has found God and refuses to let go!
Jesus answers, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
How’s that for an answer? Does Jesus ever answer the way we expect? To me, the translated words don’t convey the proper meaning. I’m not saying the translation is wrong just that it doesn’t sit well with me. When He says, “It is not right,” for me it translates better as “It wouldn’t look good” or “It wouldn’t be ideal” as opposed to not right indicating that it would be wrong. Also, the term for dogs here was chosen to indicate a “house pet” or “a pup” as opposed to another term which could have been used for an “owner-less cur” or an “unclean stray.” So for me this verse makes more sense translated to “It would not be ideal to cast our children’s bread to our puppies.” 
There are differences between a house pet and a stray dog. A house pet depends on us. A house pet knows the name of it’s Master and will react to it. They rejoice in love. They stay close to you and cuddle with you. They want to keep you safe. They lay next you, sometimes on you or even at your feet. The know love and they react to it. And grow to become an agent of it. 
This woman answers Jesus, ‘Yes Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters table.’
She wholeheartedly understands and accepts what He says. A broken-hearted mother recognize Jesus. Her broken-heart will cry out to His heart. The heart of God. She always had faith but didn’t know where it should be directed. She is reflecting and reacting to God’s love. She feels it she know it.
We are slaves to sin. That is our world but not God’s plan. His plan was for us to dwell with Him in Eden. He allowed us to back burner that plan. So now that tree in the middle of the garden becomes a wooden cross. Where Jesus was crucified there was a garden. A broken-hearted Mother watched her son die. A broken-hearted Father gave His son to die for you and I. God gave ALL His love to us. How do we respond, reflect and react to that?
This Canaanite woman gets it. A loving master will not only care for and feed His dogs but He will allow them His crumbs as well because He loves them. Here is a show of faith in all it’s lowly, humble and amazingly beautiful and perfect splendor. 
Jesus answers her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.”
How often does Jesus say “Oh?” He says it more than a dozen times and most of the time it referring to His disappointment in someone’s lack of faith. Here is great faith being openly praised by the Master Himself! Humbly accepting and understanding the love and grace of Jesus. Trusting God and seeing opportunities instead of obstacles. Her pain and heart-ache didn’t blindfold her heart and soul to the Son of God. 
God knows our struggles and hears every prayer. God answers every prayer. If God tests you it is because you need to know how strong you are and that He believes in You. Reflect and react to His love. Show your faith. Spread the good news of Jesus. Share the sacred delight of the crumbs of Christ to everyone around you!