When I was growing up, my father kept one can of WD-40 in the house and another in his car. It seemed it was the be-all and end-all for almost every mechanical problem. But what is WD-40? It literally stands for Water Displacement 40th attempt.
In 1953, chemist Norm Larsen was attempting to concoct a formula to prevent corrosion, a task which is accomplished by displacing water. Larsen's unyielding tenacity and persistence paid off when he perfected the formula on his 40th try.
Matthew introduces us to a Gentile woman who had this same kind of persistence. Her daughter was violently and cruelly demon-possessed (15:21). She had no hope of ever seeing her daughter normal again, until she heard that Jesus was in town. She had heard about Jesus' power and the miracles He had worked in the lives of others, and she believed He could help her too. So she approached Jesus boldly and persevered with unyielding tenacity, even when everything and everybody seemed to be against her. Her race, religious background, gender, the disciples, Satan, and even Jesus seemed to be against her (v.24).
Despite these seeming obstacles, she did not give up, but pushed her way through the dark corridors of her desperate need. She had chutzpah (khoot-spuh), a Jewish/Hebrew word for headstrong persistence, unyielding tenacity, bold determination, and raw nerve. Jesus complimented her chutzpah and rewarded her faith by healing her daughter (v.28).
Sometimes we pray, and if we don't get an answer the first time, we give up. That's not chutzpah! Chutzpah is having the raw belief, the deep trust, and the confident hope to be persistent with God, believing that He is good, just, and loving, and that He desires what's best for us. , Marvin Williams, Our Daily Journey
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