Last week I received a phone call at work from a lady insistent that she get her set of pizzas made and delivered promptly. She seemed rather undaunted when I told her that we were an automotive facility, or when I used our company name twice in my greeting.
“Well I know,” she said confidently, “But ya’ll can still deliver can’t ya?”
Uh, well, I guess we can, I thought to myself, and I proceeded to take her order. Two large pizzas, one with pepperoni and sausage, the second with cheese only. And a bottle of Sierra Mist to go along with it. She also insisted on giving me her address and phone number. After a minute or two of haggling about a price I pulled out of thin air—which she didn’t like—we settled and closed the deal.
I was quite humored by the ordeal, although she took it rather seriously and was probably upset 35 minutes later when her pizza and soda never arrived. But she would quite literally not be turned back, even when I explicitly told her what it was we did. She wasn’t getting off that phone until she had ordered her food and got the answer she wanted.
The whole situation reminded me of the Canaanite woman, a cultural outsider, who came to Jesus seeking the healing of her daughter. Like the pizza lady, she simply would not be deterred. Jesus flat out ignored her, first, then bluntly said to her face, “Look, lady, there’s nothing I can do for you.” (Matthew 15:21-28).
I pause right here and ask with you, how many of us would have kept going at this point? I know for me personally, I tend to inquire tentatively so as not to make myself look like a fool, and then retreat hastily when someone’s “no” makes me feel ridiculous. We’re so afraid of how we look—of failure, falling on our faces, or getting turned down—that we never take the chance, we never risk, we never go after anything.
What will help us overcome our fear of falling before the watching eyes of others? Well, according to Jesus, it is our faith (Matt 15:28). It was the woman’s great faith that persisted, that wouldn’t take no for an answer, that kept pestering Jesus for help. She was sticktuitive in her pursuit of the Lord, and like the pizza lady (sort of) sets a good example for us.
Whatever you’re pursuing in obedience to Jesus, it’s probably an area where God hasn’t given you an immediate, quick, straightforward answer. That’s because nothing worth having comes easily or instantaneously. The change God would bring about in the path of your struggle isn’t a bag of one-minute instant rice. So look to the Canaanite woman and her faith, and persist, stick to it, be tenacious, don’t be turned back. Be courageous. Be brave.
THE ALWAYS BRAVE, CALVIN AND HOBBES