Haven’t You Been There?
“Seeing Jesus . . .” Mark 5:6
You could almost smell the fear and despair coming from the rock-hewn caverns furnished with the bones of the dead. The townspeople had tried to restrain him many times, but he had always broken free. He was uncontrollable and dangerous, his skin was torn from the many times each day he would gash himself with jagged rocks. He was a mass of bleeding lacerations and scabs, infections and scar tissue. He ran wild and naked, unkempt. As a result, he was unloved, unwelcome and unwanted; the townspeople had given up on him and put him out to live among the tombs.
Not all demonization is so grotesque. We must not think that one has to manifest these behaviors in order to descend into the dark degradation of the Gerasene demoniac. Sin and struggle are part of the human condition; we each can be tempted and led away by our own desire. In our culture, the exterior of our lives are perfectly managed to give the impression all is well, when, in fact, it’s not.
The difference between the man among the tombs and you and me, is we hide our struggles much more successfully. Many of us live in private prisons of our own making. Because of disappointments, bad choices or impossible circumstances, addictions amid private wars, we relegate our hearts to the dark hold below. Left to be tormented, in a cold, gloomy cell of the soul. Sort of like solitary confinement, only worse – abandoned, no one sees, no one cares. Haven’t you been there? You fear that whatever you’ve done is so bad that no one is ever coming for you again. And somewhere in your mind you know you deserve it.
But, what if we were to see Jesus, the warrior king, step in to find you and He has broken all the bonds? What if we could put our trust in His love and forgiveness and believe He sees us, loves us and has come to set us free?
Is there a dark area you are hiding? Why is it easier to cover up our stronghold and struggles than to confess it to God?