My “quiet time” reading this week is in the last part of Luke 8. Today I’ve been thinking about the people in the country of Gerasenes.
You may know the story about how Jesus was compelled to travel by boat and even press through a storm to get to the country of Gerasenes [aka Gaderenes] in order to heal a man filled with demons. Jesus indeed healed Him at the expense of a herd of pigs when the legion of demons begged him to send them into the herd of swine, thus rushing them to their death.
Instead of the people of that country responding with joy at what Jesus was able to do in their midst, with the pigs gone, they began to fear what else they would have to give up in order to be healed. So they asked Him to leave.
Here are my thoughts:
“Pigs” are the things in my life I keep trying to hang on to—having long discussions with God over, often trying to get Him to change His mind about—that keep me from embracing the perfect plan He has for my life.
This plan that He has isn’t just a random set of circumstances that God pulled out of his LG—life is good—file and has chosen to put into motion so I can get on in the world.
It was intentionally and uniquely designed with one thing in mind, and that is to bring me back from death to life…not the generic, cardboard LG life the world has to offer but that dynamic Abundant Life that rids me of the unclean filth in my heart that is clogging my spiritual arteries—the very life of Christ Himself.
His plan is often one that is antithetical to the “perfect life” my flesh has dreamed for itself, and is certainly opposed to the ideology of entitlement.
It is sad to think I would ever choose to hang on to my unclean herd of swine, a symbol of my preeminent desire for worldly ease and affirmation, and tell Jesus to get back in the boat because I don’t really like His plan—that I would rather keep slopping my pigs.
I mean, God forbid that this following Jesus as the path to God should cost me something.
But there is a far greater expense involved in sending Him away, and that is this: I constantly am having to manufacture a false peace because the Prince of Peace, Who stood ready to enter my heart and heal me, has been set a sea.
I have my pigs in the pigpen and am ever busy trying to manage them, but I am restless and empty—more or less have become a selfish pig myself, indifferent to what God wants to do in and through me—miserable in my sin.
Even the prodigal eventually came to his senses and, seeing the error of his ways, ran to embrace the Father in repentance and trust.
God was his portion; and He was enough!
God help me to come to my senses and, in trusting you, choose to pursue Peace over the pigpen!