I am not going to lie. These past couple of weeks have been difficult for me. I am approaching the anniversary of the death of my mom, and many memories are flooding my mind all the time. I still need to make peace with her suffering. This is all compounded by all the uncertainty in my life right now. Satan whispers in my ear that God does not love me. My sinful nature and my weak faith would like to listen to him. For if God loved me, why would He ask me to walk through the fire?
I want to write this week about the woman of Canaan who approached Jesus to heal her demon possessed daughter. The disciples wanted to send her away for they found her annoying, but she persisted. Jesus actually called her a little dog! He hides who He is. His merciful, loving heart is hidden from her. But she persists! She acknowledges that she is a dog, but she is unmoved. She tells Him that the crumbs are for her. Jesus responds with great joy, and exclaims, “Woman, how great is your faith!”
Oh, that I may respond as this woman. God is not quiet because He does not love me. God is quiet because he needs to humble me because only then will my faith increase. The woman was humbled, and she persisted. Her faith was great! When Jesus humbled her, she did not give in to the temptation that He did not care for her. He stretched her, and He rejoices when she perseveres. He heals her daughter at that moment. I must also persist. I am sinful, and I want to believe that I control all things. Humble me, O Lord, that I too may increase in faith for your glory and my salvation.
This week, I have chosen “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted”. It is my favorite Lenten hymn. It also reminds me that Jesus humbled Himself for my sake. I do not choose this so that I may use Jesus as my example. I choose this to remember that ultimately all things have been made right. And whatever my grief, Jesus has been there and cleared the way for me. Notice the last line of the hymn, “None shall ever be confounded, Who on Him their hope have built.” This hymn was written by Thomas Kelly in 1804.
Stricken, Smitten, And Afflicted
Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
’Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, ’tis He, ’tis He!
’Tis the long expected prophet,
David’s Son, yet David’s Lord;
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
’Tis a true and faithful Word.
Tell me, ye who hear Him groaning,
Was there ever grief like His?
Friends through fear His cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress:
Many hands were raised to wound Him,
None would interpose to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced Him
Was the stroke that Justice gave.
Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed!
See Who bears the awful load!
’Tis the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man, and Son of God.
Here we have a firm foundation,
Here the refuge of the lost.
Christ the Rock of our salvation,
Christ the Name of which we boast.
Lamb of God for sinners wounded!
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on Him their hope have built.