The last few weeks have been hard. It seemed all the noise of the world came crushing in on me so I sat in the church pew with my head bowed seeking solidity. Instead of finding quiet, I heard a voice so thunderously that startled me.
The voice boomed so loud within my body, that I actually looked around to see who had the microphone. I was confused to see that no one else was taken aback. They all were calm.
My encounter with God had begun.
He spoke a short, loud and specific message that held life-altering repercussions. Three powerful, commanding words: “Go and share!”
Emotion whirled within me to the point that I couldn’t hold them in. Not only was I amazed that God had spoken to me at all, but even more so with the three words He spoke.
Go and share?
Go and share what?
Oh !! Go and share that. I felt a sickening feeling rise inside. I sank into the pew, trembling at what I thought God might be asking. I began to question God, “Surely You can’t mean share my past, Lord. Surely You don’t mean go and share that one piece I’ve never told anyone. That thing, the one that I have worked so hard to keep hidden.” Yet, that is exactly what He meant. And I didn’t like it.
I didn’t want to go, much less open up and share. I didn’t want to be transparent or vulnerable. I had just recently fully accepted His forgiveness and healing, but I wasn’t ready to accept His call to give me a purpose.
In today’s key verse we see a man with similar feelings after being healed from demon possession.
He had lived in torment as an outcast for many years, naked and alone among the dead. At the first sight of Jesus, he fell to his knees and began to beg God for mercy. Jesus commanded the demons to leave him and then cast them into a herd of pigs that rushed down the steep bank into water to drown. The man was healed physically, but more importantly, spiritually.
He, too, was so overwhelmed emotion for all Jesus had done, he begged to join Jesus and travel with him. But Jesus had other plans. Instead, removing him for the world that had hurt him, Jesus told him to go back into is and share his story. And he did.
What had once been a messy burden to bear became a powerful message of holy transformation. His past and his healing – together- became the foundation of a purpose in life that he would have never imagined. He was now living proof of the life-changing power of Jesus.
The man’s story became a testimony when he was willing to share it with others. How many people believed in Jesus and are now spending eternity with Him simply because this former demon-possessed man willingly allowed his terrible past to become a story of redemption and purpose?
People can find every human reason to deny Christ. They seem to easily dispute Scripture and even ignore prophecy, but they cannot deny, dispute or ignore the transformation He makes in someone’s life. It is our stories of pain, adversity and overcoming in Christ are meant to serve as a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power, evidence that God really can take what the devil meant for evil and use it for good.