Summary: Resilient faith- waiting for your turn and not giving up
A RESILIENT FAITH
Imagine you have an important appointment and so you left home pretty early to avoid the usual traffic hold ups. Perhaps you are in your own vehicle to travel to the place or a commercial transport e.g. a cab. The journey apparently looks smooth sailing. However half way though, there is a traffic light, as a result of road works; therefore a long queue of vehicles in front of you and the vehicular traffic flow is slow. As you get close to the traffic light, you are thinking it will show green and giving you the chance to just go through. Then it shows red; later amber (which seemingly from your perspective) is a long wait for the green light to show and time is not in your favour. What do you in such a situation?
Many in such situations will begin to swear, heap insults on the local authority and/or the folks who are doing the road work. In fact you may want your tom-tom to redirect you to another route. Once again how will you react to a situation when you are told to wait?
Perhaps you are at a meeting and you have burning issue you want the chair to address; then you are told to wait for ‘any other business’.
Tonight we will be looking at a situation where someone was told (apparently) to wait; even though she had a burning motherly concern; a nameless lady in traffic who saw the amber light. What did she do when in that kind of situation, is our subject matter this evening as we look at the theme- A RESILIENT FAITH; based on the text from Mark 7: 24 to 37 i.e. the first part of the narrative. Let us pray: faithful God, give us the resilient to get all you want us to gain from tonight’s Gospel reading. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord- amen.
A Brief Understanding of the Narrative
The lady in tonight’s Gospel reading is one of my stars in the bible. She is nameless. Mark introduces her to us not by Ms/Mrs so and so but by her ethnic background. She came to Jesus with a burning motherly concern; for Jesus to address the issue of her daughter’s abnormal condition.
Jesus then revealed an agenda to the woman, of the way things should be sequenced; which may sound a little bit controversial. But to get (somehow) a clearer understanding of what Jesus said to this rather eager and desperate woman; the Gospel of John chapter 1 verses 11 and 12 tells us that Jesus ‘came to that of his own but his own did not receive him yet to all who receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave them the right to become children of God’. In other words Jesus revealed the agenda of the sequence of things but not in any way stopping the woman from requesting and receiving from his bountiful gifts for the wholesomeness of humankind irrespective of your background- ethnicity, gender or societal status. This nameless but rather bold, apparently fearless, and strong woman responded- it is indeed true that you have an agenda. But I am also aware that on any agenda there is room for AOB, therefore I will wait. Consequently we are told that her response was commended by Jesus and she got the breakthrough she wanted. You will agree with me that beneath her response was a show of resilient faith; her words had wings to fly because of her stubborn faith. In fact, she did not see the miracle at that material time. She was told to go. She did not question Jesus- ‘are you sure what you have said will happen?’ She left in faith and when she arrived where the daughter was; she found her whole.
Like this woman, we may have found ourselves in challenging situations; wherein we need a breakthrough. You may have the feeling of giving up because of the current responses or answers you are receiving. My brothers and sisters in the Lord, in most cases God is telling us just to wait. Others may have passed through it and you look at your time and from your finite/human perspective; time is racing against you. Sometimes, what God is saying to us is ‘wait, your own time will come and will come in a different way’. It may be different from the way we had seen the breakthroughs of others. Often Jesus will just touch the sick. Or as described in the other narrative of our Gospel reading this evening- the account on the ‘healing of the deaf and dumb man’- he did what I will call a local pharmaceutical compounding of a mixture of saliva (the enzymes, electrolytes, the anti-bacteria compounds and other substances) and his healing touch. In other instances, he would just command the demons to leave. In this case, none of the above was used.