I cleaned the toaster the other day. Even though we have a very cool secret drawer that collects crumbs, inevitably, crumbs get stuck inside the toaster and never fall all the way down to the drawer. So, I turn the toaster upside-down and beat the sides, which always dumps out more crumbs. I looked at all of the crumbs sitting in the sink, then I rattled the toaster and continued to hear more crumbs. (sigh!)
It all reminded me of the struggle with sin. I can rid myself of sin--through Christ--by confession and dumping those bad things I do (a.k.a., repentence). But, inevitably, there remain some crumbs of sin left behind--unconfessed things, things I haven't been able to completely repent of, things I don't even know I'm doing wrong.
"If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." --I John 1:8
Still, even though the Bible confirms that the Christian cannot be a habitual sinner (I John 3: 4-10), that doesn't mean it's good to house crumbs in my toaster.
After meditating on my own crumbs, I was quickly reminded of a Bible story in which a woman's love of crumbs brought her great blessing. (Needless to say, crumbs are not sin in this analogy.)
A Gentile woman had been following Jesus and said, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." Jesus didn't respond to her right away, and His disciples just wanted her gone because she was creating such a ruckus. But, she continued, bowing before Him.
"Lord, help me!"
This time, Jesus answered her: "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." This all sounds perfectly horrible, unless you understand the language and expressions of the day, and the fact that Jesus was trying to draw out for the benefit of His disciples and others (including us) this woman's faith.
"But she said, 'Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.'
Then Jesus said to her, 'O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed at once." (Scripture from Matthew 15: 21-28)
Had this woman given up, believing that the Word of the Lord, the Bread of Life, could not be for her, her daughter may never have seen healing. And she, a Gentile, fed on and was nourished by the "crumbs" of Jesus.
Faith of a mustard seed. Crumbs from the Master's table. He uses the small things for great purposes.