18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” (Mark 5:18-19, NRSV)

spiritual isolationDelivered from the bondage of my own captors, I too have been instructed by Jesus to wait until our reunion and to be faithful until then to share with others how much the Lord has done for me. Should I turn away dejected and pout until my King comes for me? Or shall I rejoice that His Spirit lives within me and tell you of the wonders of His mercy? My heart chooses to sing of His grace!

In His gentleness He patiently waited for me to explore countless options and to do even more harm to myself as I struggled to prove my might over trouble and my right over others. When I feared rejection and abandonment, my fear gave way to rage, and as I exercised my will and flexed it in the direction of those around me the crowd around me grew thin. Vexed with the pain of loss and the fear of more, I retreated from social contact and hid in dark despair. I wound around me spiritual chains of hate which manifested themselves as bands of fat. So complete was my covering that I ceased to be me, but was “fat.” I was very much like the unnamed man in this story, identified by the legion of spiritual attackers that tormented me even more than my own identity. Then Jesus came to my cave. What a wondrous day! He closed the distance and called me from the insanity of self. Like Lazarus, I heard Him call for me to rise and walk in newness of Life. I stand with Him resurrected, my flesh and all its desires nailed to a cross next to His. I am never alone as long as His Spirit burns within me. A clay vessel of His warm, loving light, I remain where He has sent me, shining for you, dear friends, to see the mercy the Lord has shown me.

Dear Father, today, keep me faithful to my commission to show Your mercy to my friends and represent what You have done for me. Keep my sinful nature fastened to that cross and burn inside me with a passionate flame. Make my life a lamp in which others may see You, be drawn to You, and glorify Your Name.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NIV)