The gospel of Matthew tells a story that might disturb some believers: The Gentile woman with the demon-possessed daughter.

This woman seeks Jesus so persistently the disciples say, “Lord, send her away. Get rid of her. She won’t stop bothering us.” Note Jesus’ response to the woman’s pleas: “He answered her not a word” (Matthew 15:23, NKJV). Evidently, Christ ignored the whole situation. Why would he do this? Jesus knew this woman’s story would be told to every future generation, and he wanted to reveal a truth to all who would read it. So he tested the woman’s faith by saying, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Christ was saying, “I came for the salvation of the Jews. Why should I waste their gospel on a Gentile?”

Now this statement would have sent most of us on our way, but this woman didn’t budge. I ask you, how often do you give up on prayer? How many times have you grown weary and reasoned, “I’ve sought the Lord. I prayed and asked. I just don’t get any results”?

Consider how this woman responded. She didn’t reply with a complaint or an accusing finger, saying, “Why are you denying me, Jesus?” No, scripture says just the opposite. “Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, ‘Lord, help me’” (Matthew 15:25).

What follows next is hard to read. Once again, Jesus rebuffed the woman. Only this time his reply was even harsher. He told her, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (Matthew 15:26). Once again, he was testing her.

Now the mother answered him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:27). What an incredible reply. This determined woman was not going to relent in her pursuit of Jesus, and the Lord commended her for it. Jesus said to her, “’O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matthew 15:28).

Beloved, we are not to settle for crumbs. We have been promised all the grace and mercy we need for our crises. That includes every crisis involving our families, saved or unsaved. We’ve been invited to come boldly to Christ’s throne with confidence.