You are tormented.  Every where you turn people are mocking you and insulting you.  Even your own actions you find despicable.  You are always angry, you swear and lash out.  You hurt those that are close to you.  You find yourself more and more shunned and isolated.  Somewhere deep inside, you hate what you are doing and know that you should be doing something different but it seems that it is out of your control. 

Then at your deepest, darkest moment, Jesus steps in.  He tells you that he will do and then does it.  The evil inside you is whisked away in an instant.  The anger that you feel is replaced by love and the anxiety by peace.  You feel that you are in your right mind.

Read Luke 8:26-39.  For this happened with the man of the tombs.  But the story doesn’t end there.  Obviously you like this man would be incredibly grateful to Jesus.  You’d want to be where Jesus is and go where he is.  You think you have a new path and like this man beg and plead to go along this new path.

Yet you (we) must be open to the path chosen by Jesus that is not only best for us but for all.  For in this story, the results of the man’s transformation was very scary to those around him.  They did not understand.  Most importantly, Jesus knew the people needed to understand if this miracle was going to go beyond just the healing of one man.

So Jesus says no.  He tells the man to stay where he is and proclaim the mercy and healing which God (notice Jesus was not wanting the glory to go to Him) had brought.  Jesus was not telling this man he was not wanted or trying to crush his dreams.  In love, Jesus was telling him, I have a different path for you and will be with you as you traverse it.  And the man obeyed.

Think of the impact of this radically changed man testifying to God in his own words about the change and miracle wrought upon him by a loving God.  Without traveling that path, that word would probably not go out. I am also completely assured that as the man walked this path, he came even closer to God; His Love, Mercy and Grace.

I know I have paths that I desperately want to follow.  I think they are good and right.  Yet I also know I have to be the most open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the blessings that will come from the path chosen for me.  It may be along what I’m thinking or significantly different. 

But whatever the case, should I or you  follow the path chosen for us, I have no doubt it will be extremely blessed.

 

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