“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Matthew 15:27, NIV
It’s a few days after Thanksgiving, and a surplus of leftovers remains stacked in my fridge—precariously stacked. In fact, my thoughts of unpacking the milk for morning cereal caused me to settle for a slice of dry toast with a smidge of jelly snatched from one of a dozen jars in the door. I had no time to risk the probable avalanche, nor the energy to rearrange the fridge’s chilly interior before my first cup of Java Joe kicked in.
Last week, as I pushed back from a Thanksgiving table laden with ham, turkey, giblet gravy, and dressing with all the trimmings, I vowed never to eat again. Yet, before the dawn’s early light had broken, and with only the light of the refrigerator piercing the morning darkness, my bleary-eyed glimpse of Tom Turkey and a half-eaten pumpkin roll caused me to eagerly anticipate my next meal.
Leftovers are rarely considered choice fare. But, for the Canaanite woman, seen only as a “dog” and deemed unworthy of anything more, even leftovers were desirable. Desperation regarding her daughter’s illness seized her soul as she pushed past the self-righteous glares of the crowd and fell humbly at the feet of the Master.
Jesus sat silent.
A sense of smugness must have engulfed the disciples as Jesus’s initial reaction appeared to validate their deeply embedded beliefs of superiority. Little did they know, a few incisive words from Jesus would quickly extract their shallow roots. Undaunted by his alleged indifference, the Canaanite woman voiced her unwavering hope. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Jesus replied, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” Her daughter was immediately healed.
Jesus had come to save this pharisaical community, yet most looked on with self-righteous indignation. In contrast, the outcast woman believed that a single word or touch from the Master would be enough to restore her daughter’s life.
This morning, as I munch on meager toast with an abundance of food piled high in my fridge, I question if I take my blessings for granted while feeling entitled to more. Do I humbly receive whatever God desires to give me, knowing that even scraps from his hand will bring more healing to my bones than the surplus of leftovers stacked in my fridge?
It’s not what we receive, but the spirit with which we receive it that brings the results we desire, along with the surplus sounds of thanksgiving that our Master longs to hear.
Give God thanks this holiday season and share with those around you from your place of abundance.