Tag Archives: ask

Is a Crumb Enough?

Today we welcome Susan Hitchman as a regular contributor to UTCOP. Please give her a warm welcome – read her bio below and visit her blog.

Is a Crumb Enough?

by Susan Hitchman

Crumbs

I was thinking of the story in Mark 7:24-30 (and Matt. 15:21-28), entitled “Jesus and the Syrophoenician Canaanite Woman” in my Bible.  I have been intrigued by this story for many years.  It goes like this:

     Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.  He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.  In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.  The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia.  She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

The woman is plucky; she asks Jesus for help, but is not dissuaded by his potentially offensive metaphor of children/bread/dogs.  Instead, she rises to the occasion and applies the metaphor to her advantage.  Rather than being put off by her bold and assertive manner, He grants her request because of her boldness.

I like that interaction between Jesus and the woman; she knows she desperately needs Jesus and she will not allow herself to be offended.  I can almost see Jesus with piercing eyes and the beginnings of a smile challenging her request with his off-putting rebuff. I imagine her own shrewd look as she phrases her cheeky reply. With a slight nod and murmuring “touché!” under his breath perhaps, Jesus grants her request.  He directs her home, where she finds her prayer granted, her daughter healed.

I’m thinking this story is included in the gospels for a reason.  A good reason.  And I’m thinking I’ve overlooked this story far too long.  Many times I’ve asked God to teach me to pray, and I think there’s something important in this story that answers at least a ‘crumb’ of that prayer.

     “For that reply”, Jesus enjoins.

For her reply, the woman gets exactly that for which she asks.  What is it about her reply?  I’m thinking I really need to know what it is about her reply that touches Jesus.

Her reply illustrates her belief that the smallest crumb from the Bread of Life is more than sufficient to meet her most desperate need.  She is saying He is Omnipotent God.  For that reply, he gives her the ‘crumb’ she needs.

 Omnipotent Maker;
Redeemer of All, Bread of Life;
Of crumbs from your table
of blessing and mercy and grace
I must eat or be starved;

My hunger is slaked
by your Life-bread alone.
Let me eat of your fare,
For I hunger of You,

Hear my desperate plea,
O fill me or I die.

Sue Hitchman

Susan HitchmanSue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh.

ASK

Cherry Warrick writes as Pursuing Heart and is our guest blogger today. We have reprinted this post from February with her permission.

Ask

by Cherry Warrick

When in need of wisdom, ask. It’s as simple as that. But how often we miss the obvious.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God,
 and He will give it to you. 
He will not rebuke you for asking.”
 (James 1:5)

Keep asking, over and over again. Why? He already knows what we need. But He tells us to ask; He wants us to ask.

“The King of the universe wants a real, live relationship with us. …
He wants us – frail mortal creatures – to connect with Him
and communicate with Him as the dearest relationship in human existence.
He rejoices to hear our voices.
He delights to be our sole and holy source for all things in life.”
 (Beth Moore, James: Mercy Triumphs)

The one condition to our asking –

“But when you ask Him, 
be sure that your faith is in God alone.”

 (James 1:6a)

A DIFFERENT PRAYER

A Different Prayer

by Jan Cox

Picture by Godgrown

Read: Luke 11:10 NIV

“For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

I always thought of this Scripture in the worldly sense. What can God do for me? How can He help me out in this life?

I am sure there will be many times I will pray this way.

Today, as I read Oswald Chambers (June 9th) I learned a new way of interpreting this passage.

What if I were to ask for a deeper spiritual knowledge of God? Maybe I need to knock and knock to seek and know Jesus more?

What is wisdom? Is that God’s wisdom? I want to be wiser in the ways of God.

“The Holy Spirit is the One Who makes real in you all that Jesus did for you.” (Oswald Chambers, June 9th)

That changes my perspective. Does it change yours?

I want to grow close in my relationship to God.

Now I see the need to pray for this.

Prayer:

Father, I ask, I seek and knock for my spirit to be more open to You. I want to know You more. Help me to grow in my relationship with you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

So I did. I prayed this prayer and prayed for words of wisdom.

“What words of wisdom do You have for me today?” I asked.

Here were the answers: Words of Wisdom

EMOTE – allow myself to feel Him

REST – relax in knowing Who He is

MOVE – walk on knowing He sets the path.

Then He took me to this Scripture. (Really this Scripture popped into my mind and I hadn’t studied it or read it for a long time)

2 Timothy 2:7 NIV

“Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

And to top off that revelation, in the margin of my Bible I had previously written the word “wisdom”.

This is too marvelous for my understanding.

May He continue to build this relationship with me and with you.

My Gratitude List

I have so many I am going to skip some and get up to number 163

  • Time with God
  • Warmer weather
  • Sunshine for yard sale
  • Learning to throw out or give away
  • Ability and joy in giving
  • Planning my children’s program for Poland with International Messengers
  • God in the midst of heartache
  • Peace of Jesus
  • Fun with plan but waiting on God
  • One Thousand Gifts chapter 4 – A Sanctuary of Time, Ann Voskamp
  • Camembert cheese and crackers
  • The NOW = this moment
  • Oswald Chambers May 28 – Revelation
  • 40 years of happy marriage
A favourite song. In the Secret  (I want to know You more!)

——————————————————————————————————–

Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.

SIMPLY SATURDAY – Backwards

Simply Saturday

Backwards

The other day I read a devotional by Oswald Chambers. I read the Scripture, Luke 11:10. I had always interpreted that as being: if I am in His will and I ask, seek and knock He will answer me. I still believe that to be true but Oswald told me that I had that backwards.

He says that we need to ask, seek and knock in a different way. We need to knock on the door of Christ and ask Him to reveal more of Himself to us. It is my desire to grow in Him and that is what I need to seek.

I tried what He said. I prayed for God to show me what He wanted me to know. I prayed for wisdom. He revealed Himself in a marvelous way by taking me to 2 Timothy 2:7 which told me that He would reveal Himself to me and give me insight.

Since most of what I have learned from God is backwards to the world that shouldn’t have surprised me. I believe that this Scripture could be looked at through a different lens.

Maybe all Scripture could be looked at backwards (that is from God’s point of view).

What do you think?

Time is up.

Your turn to comment or write your own post on Backwards. Link back to Gypsy Mama if you write your own post.