One of my favorite Bible stories when I was a child was of the Syro-Phoenician woman who kept bugging Jesus for help with her demon possessed daughter. I don’t think I really understood the implications of the story at the time; probably I was attracted to the part about the little dogs.
The woman was not of the house of Israel but she knew that Jesus had power and authority. She so desperately needed it that she followed him around demanding help. The disciples asked Jesus to shut her up.
Jesus said to her; “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” (Mark 7:27) He was basically saying, no, I won’t help you because you are not one of us, a Jew. Wow, it kind of surprises us for the Lord to speak so harshly to someone, doesn’t it? How did she take this rebuke? Did she slink back and just live with her daughter’s affliction?
She did NOT take no for an answer. She shot back; “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” (Verse 28) She was saying, I don’t care if you’re not serving the main meal to me, I’ll take leftovers, crumbs. She had full faith that one of Jesus’ crumbs could deliver her daughter. And so it could.
Jesus was not offended by her answer; he commended her for it. He said;“For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” (Verse 29)
Learn a lesson from this non-believer. Sometimes when Jesus is silent to our requests it isn’t because he is saying no. Sometimes he is waiting for us to be desperate enough to ask for crumbs.