Unexpected Faith (Lent blog series Wk.4)

"But 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." And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs from under the table eat from the children's crumbs." (Mk.7:27-28).

Have you ever thought whether there is anything you could do to impress God? I mean we are talking about someone who knows you better than anyone else, even better than you yourself. Is there anything you could do to surprise Him? I have asked this question to my family members and got variety of responses: from “reading the Bible more often”, to “nothing we can do as he is omnipotent God.”

I must admit my first response was, to surprise God, it must be something really big, probably really hard and most likely not many people would accomplish it (like fast for 40 days or pray 7 days a week). To my surprise the examples I found in the Bible were circulating around… unexpected faith. The response the Greek woman offered to Jesus wasn’t just smart and intelligent, it was bold, determined and full of faith. She must have heard about Jesus before and as soon as He arrived in her neighbourhood she was right there at His feet.

Please do imagine this conversation - initially Jesus simply replied… No to her request! I can’t recall too many places where Jesus would refrain from healing someone and even less when that person would argue with Him about it. In this case it is different. The Greek woman wins over the fear and commencing disappointment; and shows unrivalled determination and unexpected faith.

A similar story could be read in Mat. 8: 5-17 when Jesus met Roman Centurion (person outside of Israel house):

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."

While I was part of the full-time music mission in Poland, we were asked to minister to one of the churches located on the west coast of Poland. The challenge we faced was finance. The church could not afford to even contribute to fuel costs; not to mention other expenses. We had to make a difficult decision to either spend what we had left and face uncertainty when it comes to basics like food and accommodation; or simply say sorry and reschedule the visit to some other time. Eventually we decided to go and had the privilege to witness changed lives and restored relationships. While finishing the two-day worship seminar we were approached by a man who wasn’t part of the congregation but as we learned later; was, the night before, convinced by God to come to the place and present us with a specific amount of money - more than enough to cover band expenses and need of our families. This time it was me that was amazed!

Honestly, I don’t believe we could impress God in the same way that kids surprise or amaze their parents with a clean room, washed dishes or a delicious breakfast. This type of surprise is only reserved for us humans. However, determination and boldness in our walk with Christ can make a huge difference. Active faith can lead you to the places you wouldn’t imagine and can open doors you wouldn’t expect. Will you take the challenge? Would you “surprise” God with unexpected faith?