Jesus and the Woman of Canaan,” by Michael Angelo Immenraet 

Tumbling gently from above,
Forgotten, ignored;
The children of the Kingdom too busy, too privileged to detect their loss.

Precious morsels,
Degraded by their new home:
Unsuitable for the children’s meal—

And yet here below,
My convenient food
Nourishes my soul,
Renews my strength.

I quietly savor the King’s feast,
Invisible to the intended guests above.

I am content.

—Paul Anderson

(See Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30.)

I love the response of the Phoenician woman when Jesus declined her request to heal her daughter with an unflattering metaphor: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs,” He said (Matthew 15:26, Mark 7:27). Cleverly and submissively, she found a way to insert her plea into the Savior’s imagery: “Truth, Lord,” she said, “yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:27, Mark 7:28).

What a perfect blend of boldness and humility! She was not deterred by the Savior’s discouraging words, but she also didn’t aspire to more than what she had requested. She knew that the miracle she sought would be enough for her and her family. And the Savior rewarded this disciplined persistence: “Great is thy faith,” He said; “be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (Matthew 15:28).

At the beginning of the Book of Mormon, the Lord praises Nephi for a similar combination of persistence and meekness: “Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart” (1 Nephi 2:19).

Today, I will be humbly persistent. I will exercise faith as I seek blessings from God, and I will avoid seeking more than is needful and appropriate.

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