DAY 16 - LEARNING TO FEAST
Sometimes it can be difficult to find something to be authentically grateful for during seasons when it feels like you’re holding on for dear life, weathering a storm that is battering you or the people you love. You look for a silver lining – something, anything, to be grateful for, to find consolation in, to feel good about – but it seems so far away, out there somewhere on the other side of the rainbow, while all you really feel in that moment is the rain pounding your face.
During these times, a call to gratitude can almost serve as a painful reminder that it feels like you’re holding crumbs, trying to be thankful for each morsel, while the rest of the world is feasting – or so it seems at least (a real recipe for self-pity right there).
Yet what is it that we are really meant to be grateful for? Is it the silver lining, something that’s out there somewhere but seemingly beyond our current reach, a hope beyond the horizon? Or is it the crumbs in our hands, which seem so insufficient to satisfy our hunger, but hey, at least we have crumbs? The answer is none of the above.
The Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 knew about crumbs. Desperately, she came to Jesus, asking him to move in her situation. Yet at first, Jesus and the disciples turned her away. Let’s jump in at verse 25:
“But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ And he answered, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.’ Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you as you desire.’” (Matthew 15:25-28a, NLT)
Dogs were a metaphor for the Gentiles, those who at that time were outsiders to the children of God. At that moment in Jesus’ ministry, his primary calling was to go to the Israelites, God’s people – yet here was a Canaanite, an outsider, a “sinner,” asking for Jesus to move on her behalf. She asked for crumbs, and Jesus marveled at her faith. Her persistence and humility despite Jesus’ initial resistance served to magnify just how deep the lack of faith was among God’s people.
Even at a time when the gospel had not yet been released to the Gentiles, crumbs were not her portion, and he answered her prayer. How much more is there for us today, who can boldly come before the throne of grace! (Hebrews 4:16)
Am I meant to be thankful for crumbs, or have I been invited to come in, to feast with my Savior, my Lord, my lover, my true friend?
Father, teach us to feast. Teach us what it really means to be your children. Teach us to live in the abundance of your table, to eat and drink and digest all that’s available to us through Your sacrifice, so that it fills us to overflowing.
And then, let us be grateful, for He is good.
What does it look like for you to feast, with gratitude, at His table today?
- Azure Maset