This week, we examine the Gospel of Matthew, we see the Canaanite woman, and her example of deep and abiding faith in the Lord’s plan and His timing in everything.
By: Deacon Marques Silva, Director, Office of Child Protection & Safety
As I was reflecting on today’s Gospel from Matthew 15:21-28, I was struck by the awesome generosity that the Lord lavishes upon us even when we do not deserve it. Like the Canaanite woman in the Gospel, I have many times cried out to the Lord hoping He would hear my prayer and provide for me and my family — and I have never been disappointed.
I remember early in our marriage when a job fell through right after I had left my previous employer to begin working and, I suddenly found myself unemployed. My wife and I earnestly prayed that the Lord would provide not only for a new job but for our day-to-day needs. Now, you have to understand that I married way up. Christine, my wife of 22 years, is not only an amazing wife and mother but a true woman of faith. Each day she would encourage me that the Lord was going to provide.
One Saturday morning, as we took inventory of our food stores, we noticed we were completely out of meat. Not the worst that could happen but we also were out of most other staples as well. As we were both discussing — read lively elevated tones — the predicament we were in, the punchline to the discussion was, “So, I suppose the Lord is just going to make meat appear!” We both walked away frustrated but praying, hoping and trying not to worry. As a husband and father, I felt deflated and frankly, a failure. Little did I know the Lord had already heard our cry and had been working out His plan to give us “a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Not more than 30 minutes later did the doorbell ring with a UPS man standing there with a large Styrofoam cooler. I signed for the package and read the accompanying note which read, “Was praying for you and thought that you and your family would enjoy this.” I opened the container and just sat down stunned while calling Christine to quickly come to the dining room. Inside was 10 pounds of Omaha steaks.
We were overwhelmed. We wept not only for the Lord’s provision and timeliness but also His generosity beyond compare. Hot dogs would have sufficed or even some scraps of ground beef but no, the Lord went all out for us. This individual had no idea what was going on in our family. They just responded to the voice of the Holy Spirit in prayer.
I wish I could say we were “of great faith” (Matthew 15:28a) like the Canaanite woman but we weren’t. And yet, the Lord was and continues to be faithful and generous. Two verses continue to come to mind when I reflect on this graced moment in our lives:
“See what love the Father has lavished upon us that He has called us children of God and so we are” (1 John 3:1).
“Seek first the kingship of God, His way of holiness and then all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).
He is always going to provide for us — not just temporally but, more importantly, spiritually as well. Sometimes it is in the strangest ways and not in our timing. All I know is that His timing is perfect.
My encouragement for you today: Trust in His goodness (Psalms 107:1) because the Lord’s generosity can never be outdone (Luke 6:38) and He wants to give us “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17). He is our Father, He just can’t help Himself.