By Dawn Reed
I don’t really know how it all started. Maybe it was one bad friend. Maybe he had the wrong girlfriend. Was it some kind of drug? Too much wine? I have no clue about his first step toward destruction.
What I do know is he was homeless and had lost everything and everyone. He actually lived in the cemetery and hills. No one passed by-on purpose. Night and day his cries could be heard for miles. When anyone saw him, he was a bloody mess. The truth was that he often cut himself trying to…I don’t know what. Deaden the pain? Did he hope to die? Whatever the reason, he cut himself with anything he could find. And he was alone. By this time in his life, he had burned every bridge; he had lost it all and everybody he had ever cared about.
The locals said he was “off the chain” and that was true. They had tried to bind him a time or two but something came over him. He broke every chain and every shackle.
He had his demons for sure. A long time ago, he had just given in to them never dreaming he would end up like this.
He had attempted to fix things on his own. Nothing seemed to help. Just when he thought he was making headway, he was bombarded by even more evil. His was a miserable existence. Time and time again, before he left home, his family had mentioned Jesus. But, let’s be honest…he was not your ordinary church-goer. Jesus sounded nice, but he thought it probably wouldn’t work out.
I don’t know his real name but can picture him clearly in my head. It sounds like a story from today, similar to ones the girls at the jail tell me. It happened over 2000 years ago and is true. Though a few of the details are different, it is written down in Matthew, Mark and Luke in the New Testament of the Bible.
We know he was in bad shape. He was a terror to the whole community. But when he saw Jesus coming, he ran to Him. He couldn’t help it! Then Jesus did such a Jesus thing! He released the man, freeing him from all his demons!
When the townspeople heard what had happened, they came out to see it for themselves. They found the formerly demon-possessed man sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind. Instead of being thrilled, they were afraid! Afraid?! Jesus had just rescued a poor man who had been living in the cemetery because he had been demon-possessed and what did they do? They promptly asked Jesus to leave. And He did!
The formerly demon-possessed and cemetery dweller begged to go with Jesus but He told him ‘No’. At first that might sound harsh. Jesus told the man to go and tell what had happened. What a great witness he would be!
I can hear him now…When someone asked him, “Are you from around here?” He would swallow and reply, “Well, actually…I am. I’m the guy who used to live in the cemetery.” And then he would tell his story.
In this day and time, we, too, have things that take over our lives. We, too, need to be delivered. Jesus is still in the delivering business! Don’t waste another second! Don’t walk, but run to Him! He can give you hope, a future, and put you back in your right mind!
If you have already been delivered, have you told your story? Somebody around you may need to hear it!