Matthew 15:25-28 The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’ ‘Yes it is, Lord,’ she said. ‘Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.’ Then Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment.
I was watching 30 for 30 on the Orlando Magic when Shaq and Penny were still together. They were playing the Houston Rockets in game one of the 1995 NBA finals and Nick Anderson only needed to make one free throw to win the game. He missed four in a row! They lost. Not just the game but also a chance to be a dynasty. Anderson, who now works in the team’s community relations department, had been the Orlando expansion franchise’s first draft pick in 1989. He played for the Magic four more seasons, but was never whole again after that night.
“It affected the way I played,” he said. “It affected the way I lived. It played in my head like a recorder – over and over again. I lost the dog in me”
What do you do when you lose the dog in you? Someone once said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!” There is a dog inside of us or the will to fight that gets us through adversity.
There was a mother whose daughter was demon possessed and the woman was desperate for Jesus’ help. The problem was that the woman was a Canaanite and Jesus’ priority were the Jewish people then the Gentiles. This woman didn’t care about his nationalist priorities. She recognized God in Jesus. She kept begging Jesus to help her.
When you have the dog in you…
- You don’t give up easily. This woman’s daughter was suffering and she knew Jesus could help. At first, Jesus didn’t say anything. She kept asking. Do you have dogged determination to keep asking for what you need?
- You don’t let insults stop us. Jesus said, “I cannot give the children’s bread to their dogs.” This was almost a racial slam! The Jews looked unfavorably on the Gentiles but Jesus uses this as “tongue in cheek” to see where her faith was and what her emotional response would be. Do you have enough emotional intelligence to keep standing through insults to get what you came to get? Can you handle subvert racism on the job and still get paid? Can you deal with sexism and still remain professional? Can you deal with offense with getting in your flesh? That’s not so much the Dog in you but the God in you. You have to reverse the letters in order to reverse the character. Sometimes you need the dog and sometimes you need to surrender to God.
- You have to humble yourself. The woman said, “even the dogs get the crumbs from the table. This woman knew that whatever healing power Jesus had if he could give her a “crumb” blessing then the same power in the bread would be in the crumbs! Can you humble yourself enough to get crumbs before you get bread? Housedogs always stay around the table during dinner anticipating crumbs falling from the master’s table. Do you have enough humility to stay around the table in God’s house and wait for some crumbs to fall?
Jesus said, “I haven’t seen this kind of faith in all Israel! Go your daughter is healed!” At that very hour her daughter was healed! What do you need God to do for you and your children? Do you have enough dog in you to go get it? You might have missed some crucial free throws but your legacy doesn’t depend on your hits and misses. It depends on your faith. Do you have enough dogged determination to believe Jesus against all odds? Go get your blessing! Why must I chase my blessing? It’s nothing but the dog in me! Where my dogs at?!
Help me to not let go until you bless me. Give me pit bull tenacity. I’m not going to let go until you bless me. Give me golden retriever resilience. I’m going to get everything you throw at me. Give me German shepherd loyalty. I’m going to stay by you every step of the way because the Lord is my shepherd. Thank you for providing for me and keeping me. Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Thank you for my daily bread and for being the lifter of my head.
In Jesus Name,