It was a peaceful night outside… I laid in my bed at midnight listening to some worship music (Never Lost – Rita Springer & Catherine Mullins) on repeat. Anyone who truly knows me knows that I am a repeater – by accident and on purpose. This night, it was on purpose. I even jumped on Instagram to post a picture about the song. About 15 mins go by and something shift in my heart and mind. I was completely discontent with just about everything. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and that I needed to get away. For me, my favorite times with Jesus is when I drive and it’s just him and I. I jumped in my car and start driving while still listening to the worship song on repeat. As I started to drive from my house, it started to lightly rain and drizzle. I ended up at a Walmart. It was here that forever changed my night.
It was about 12:30 am, August 16th, 2017… and I screamed at God. In prayer, I began to explicitly and passionate scream about my situation and how I felt. I laid everything that was in and on my heart. Every feeling, emotion, doubt, brokenness, hurt and concern. I admitted my struggle with not feeling God near in times of uncertainty, lack of faith with seemingly unanswered prayers, feelings of tiredness (mentally, spiritually and physically). It was after this moment that I felt a nudge of the Spirit. I begin singing the song I was listening to as a declaration over my life. The chorus of the song says this:
Wind, listen to the sound of power on my lips
Jesus has broken the curse, He has never lost a battle
Who are you great mountain, that you should not bow low
Jesus defeated the darkness, He has never lost a battle
Immediately started to cry as I began to sing these words not just out of my mouth and heart… but from my spirit. My lamentation slowly became my praise. After about listening to the song all the way through in silence, I changed the song to King of My Heart. I started praising Jesus for the victory before it happens as well as thanking him for what he is doing in my life and what he has already done. I listened to this song two more times before changing the song to a Spontaneous Medley by Daniel Bashta. While leaving from the Walmart parking lot, I felt at peace and was able to go to sleep when I got home. It was probably the best night’s rest in a long time. Fast-forward to 6:30 pm that same day…
My pastor at the church calls an impromptu prayer meeting that he felt the Lord whispering for the church and what was next for our context of ministry. I went in, tired and hungry for the Spirit of God and natural food! I went to the altar just to kneel and sit as I soak in God’s presence. This song that I have never heard, Extravagant by Bethel Music came on. As I was praying and listening to the words I begin to get teary-eyed. One of my best friends came over and just passionately prayed over me hope, strength and fulfilled promises. The song changed to I Need You More by Kim Walker-Smith. I haven’t heard this song in years, so I started to sing it out loud. My pastor came over as I was just sitting down on the floor and laid hands on me. He asked if I would stand and begin to speak life into me. He prayed over me hope, fulfilled promises and endurance for the journey. While all of this was going on, I received text messages from two other best friends who responded to my earlier text about prayer and my experience the night before.
I said all this to say… this journey with Christ is not always easy or even pretty but it is worth it. We have to be vulnerable with Jesus and others we trust. God doesn’t grow apathetic or emotionally disconnected to our situations. God is not easily offended when we approach him with our cares, cries, laughter or even screams. He can take our issues! This was what made King David so near and dear to God, that God called him a man after his own heart. David gave everything to God – good, bad and ugly. In seasons of good & joy, seasons of weakness & failures and seasons of uncertainty, David honored God with being vulnerable and honest. This is what it means to be in an authentic relationship.
As I am writing this is what the Spirit of the Lord is saying:
The voice of fear, doubt, and hopelessness may be screaming loud in your mind but the voice of Jesus whispers a louder word in your heart and spirit. His voice says you are loved, not forgotten and filled with hope. His voice says “I have never lost a battle and I won’t lose one now. I will fight for you and you will overcome – just as I have overcome the world. Keep believing, keep enduring and keep declaring… my faithful son and daughter!”
Matthew 15:21-28 || Mark 7:24-30
The Bible never records her name. This woman, who is identified by her nationality, understood her status and role in life. She realize at that moment that she was nothing.. And she went to the very person who could make her something. She humbled herself, cried out after him, worshipped him and accepted her position. Not a position of poverty or of sickness, or even helplessness for her daughter… but a position that would ultimately propel her into the Kingdom of Heaven… She was poor in Spirit.. Matthew 5:3
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Jesus rewards her faith by healing her daughter. Jesus always honors the faith that seeks mercy. She had no resentment, no anger about her situation; she only knew that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who came to heal people, and for some reason He was in her town. She sought mercy from Him. And this time, Jesus responded with emotion (“O woman” has emotional force & undertones). Her faith was rewarded. And she became one of the early Gentiles to enter the kingdom.
Jesus went into a Gentile territory with a purpose… he was making a point that his Grace and Mercy was freely given to all those who thirst for him. He was sent to the house of Israel, but they chose to challenge & reject him.
She’s asking if Jewish “bad eating habits” resulted in a Gentile blessing. Can’t the Gentiles have what the Jews rejected? She wanted to know that if the provision that were made for the Jews was refused, could even the “dogs” take part in it now?
Sometimes, we are going to have to lay it all on the line… and it won’t matter what our family or friends say, nor what our culture/world tells us. We HAVE to be so desperate and radical about the things that matters to us the most. This woman understood all of this. WILL WE? When you are desperate enough to worship in humility, and begin the process of repentance, Jesus looks passed the “identifiers” and circumstances of life and touches your now. This women’s faith saved her daughters life. What will your faith do?