My morning reading came up with Mark 5, the story of a madman. How could this possibly relate to me? It didn’t, until I came to the section about his response to deliverance: ‘As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story – what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.’
This cured man, this forgiven, redeemed, and unspeakably blessed man desired to follow His Lord: not wrong, an honorable wish.
It just didnt fit into the Master’s plan.
So Jesus said no.
Jesus has been saying no to me for a long time: about 10 years to be exact. You would think I would get tired of asking for the same thing for 10 years, but I am a persistent soul. I just dont want to hear “NO.”
Why would Jesus deny this man his wish, his desire? The man certainly did not have any friends or family left who would be abandoned by his following Jesus. He was a freak show in the country. As Jesus traveled, could he not have been support for His ministry- a visible evidence of Jesus’ healing poower? Now he had a family: Jesus and the disciples!
Why would Jesus deny my wish to be home? Why would He ask me to work full-time, in an environment of sad stories and broken lives, day after day? Wouldn’t my desire bless Him more? Don’t my kids and husband need me more than some injured stranger in a bed?
But instead, Jesus asks for the harder road, the more impossible task.
He tells the clear-headed, joyful, clothed man: “Go home.” Home?! What home did this man have? He had wandered, naked through the country, wreaking havoc among the people. But he didn’t even hesitate. He went back. He started talking. He became the talk of the town – in a good way. His story was news! Can’t you just hear the gossip circles spreading the word – pointing at him as he passes, snickering, exclaiming, talking, talking.
But because of his obedience, someone believed. Someone followed. Perhaps the whole town was changed because of this one man’s walk.
So I trust in the One Who knows all. Who knows that the harder thing is the better thing. Who asks the impossible – which is possible in Him. He asks the unthinkable, and is glorified. The greater good. The Utmost for His Highest.
I refuse to entertain worries about why. or how.
Today I will simply emulate a redeemed madman, and follow obediently, trusting that God asks what is best for me – and those around me.