Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 15:21-39
We need to be persistent in our prayers to God. Don’t stop praying…just because you don’t receive an answer. God is at work…whether we see it on our timetable, or not.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Florence Chadwick was born in San Diego, California (Nov. 9, 1918). She grew up loving to swim on the beaches…and especially to swim in competitions and to race.
- She entered her first race when she was only 6-years-old.
- When she was 10-years-old, she entered a 2½ mile “rough water” swim that took place at night. She placed fourth.
- At age 11, she won first place in a six-mile race across the San Diego Channel.
- At age 13, she came in second place at the U.S. national championships.
- She swam across the Straits of Gibraltar (almost 8 miles of ocean between Europe and Africa).
- She was the first woman to ever swim across the English Channel (21 miles)…both ways.
When Florence was 34-years-old (July 4, 1952), she attempted to swim across the Catalina Channel…from Catalina Island to Palos Verde on the California coastline. It was 21 miles wide. Everything seemed to be against her that day. The weather was bad. The water was freezing cold. The fog was so thick that you could barely see the boats that were supposed to follow along beside her. She was swimming right into the flowing tides and current. And to make matters worse, sharks had been spotted in the area. But when the sun rose, she decided to start swimming, anyway. She hoped that the fog would clear so that she could see where she was going. She swam hour after hour after hour…but the fog never cleared. Then the sharks started coming towards her and the men in the boats had to shoot at them with guns to keep them away. Finally, after 15 hours and 55 minutes…she decided to stop. She was totally exhausted…both physically and mentally. She had no idea how far she had gone…or, how far she still had to go…she still could not see the shore. She just could not go on. However, she soon found out that she had already swam 20 miles…and only had 1 more mile to go. If she had only stayed in the water a few minutes more she would have made it. She later told reporters that if the fog had not been there and she could have seen the shoreline she would have stayed in the water and made it all the way.
She knew that she could do it. She had learned that from her first attempt. So, two months later she tried again. Once again there was a heavy fog, and strong currents, and sharks. But this time she knew what it was going to take and she knew that she could do it. This time, she swam all the way from the island to the coastline in just 13 hours and 47 minutes. And by doing so, she broke a record that was 27-years-old by more than 2 hours.
Florence was persistent and would not give up. Even though she failed the first time…she didn’t let that stop her. Instead, she learned from the failure. And the next time she tried…she remembered what she had learned and put it into practice. And she made it all the way. Florence was persistent.
One day, Jesus did something that seems a little strange, at first. A lady asked Him to heal her daughter. He had healed all sorts of people with all sorts of sicknesses and diseases. But, the strange thing is that this time He said, “No.” It’s strange because this is the only time in the entire Bible when someone asked Jesus to do something…had faith that He could do it…and He refused. Here is the reason that He gave to the woman. He said that God had sent Him to the Jewish people…and she wasn’t Jewish…she was a Gentile (Gentiles are everybody that is not Jewish). He didn’t mean that in a mean way. He was simply telling her that God had given Him a very special mission and that He would not allow anything keep Him from fulfilling it. The woman understood this, and she believed it. But she also knew something else. She told Jesus that when He fulfilled His mission to the Jewish people…it would be a blessing to all people, Jewish and Gentile. So, she asked Him, again. Based on what she believed about Jesus…she was persistent. Jesus was impressed that this Gentile woman had such faith in Him. He was impressed that she understood what God was doing through Him. And, He was also impressed with her persistence. So this time, Jesus said that He would heal her daughter.
I wonder why He didn’t just do it the first time she asked. Think about it. It could be that Jesus was trying to teach something to this woman, and to us. Maybe He was teaching her, and us, to be persistent when we ask Him for something. Maybe He intends to do something about what we have asked, but for some reason…
- it’s not the right time;
- there is something that He wants us to learn about God, first;
- or, maybe He intends to do answer our request, but in a different way.
He doesn’t want us to stop asking. Instead, He wants us to keep asking, to be persistent. And to trust Him…that at the right time, with the right understanding, in the right way, He will answer what we ask Him to do.
Wouldn’t it have been sad…if the mother had stopped asking after the first time? Picked up her little girl…and left. Wouldn’t it be sad if you stopped asking after the first time? Picked up your prayer…and left.
By the way, do know what it is called when you talk with Jesus and ask Him to do something for you? It’s called prayer. And He loves for you to talk with Him in prayer. So, start praying…and don’t quit. Be persistent until you get an answer. Jesus is going to answer your prayer.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,