The Lord knows that the earth could not bear grace in its perfection. This is why the Lord has given out grace in small measures. Only in Immanuel’s land is the full and uninterrupted breathing of the Holy Ghost. That is where the Lord has determined to transplant all the trees of grace eventually. Created things while here cannot bear perfection.
Every believer has their own strengths and weaknesses even in the graces that the Lord has given them. Some are known for the grace of wisdom, others stand out more for their grace of love, while yet others are clear examples of the grace of patience. The woman of Canaan in Matthew 15 distinguished between those of the Lord’s people who seem to enjoy His close company (just like children are part of the family meal table), and others who only seem to catch the crumbs and leftovers that fall off the table. It is legitimate to wonder why the Lord chooses to do things this way, instead of giving each of His people the same (large) amount of grace to see them through their life in this world. William Guthrie examined exactly this question when he preached a sermon on the woman of Canaan. In the following updated extract he shows some of the Lord’s reasons, as well as some responses that are appropriate from us.
Why does the Lord keep or make these gradations and differences in His way of dealing to His people? You would think it would be much better for God to give a large stock of faith, love, patience, etc., to all His people, and that this would be more for their comfort than when they are kept at such a great distance from Him, and with such a scanty measure of gifts and graces.
We may think so, but He is much wiser than we.
To Enhance the Fellowship of the Saints
The Lord has resolved to give out diverse administrations to the body of which He Himself is the Head. He wants His body to have different members, and He wants them to serve Him with different qualifications. In the body He wants eyes, hands, feet, etc. And yet they are only the one complete body! They are still just the one communion of saints. But this would not be possible if they were all alike. “You know more than I do,” says one, “and have greater understanding in the matters of God.” “Well,” says another, “but I love more than you do. You think you would do more for Christ than I would do, but it may be if there was something to do for the cause of Christ I would fight better than you would for all that.”
To Make Us Value Christ’s Intercession More
By this varied manner of His administration, the Lord keeps the ransom still in request, and the intercession of Christ in heaven still in request. For if we had it in our own hand, Christ would soon be out of work for all the employment we would give Him, and we would soon lose respect to the ransom. But now when infirmities appear from day to day it keeps the ransom still precious to the soul.