“When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” Mark 5:15
There’s an account in the Bible of a mad man, demon possessed. He lived among the tombs, had unusual strength, ran around naked, and broke any chains or shackles they used to subdue him. He spent his days cutting himself with stones and crying out. His encounter with Jesus was life changing for him to say the least. After Jesus cast the demons out of him and sent them to a heard of pigs the man was found sitting near Jesus, clothed and perfectly sane. Such a story of hope for anyone who struggles in their mind.
I’ve never lived a life comparable to that man, but I have known torments within my mind. The truth of Jesus being all powerful, sovereign, and the healer, brings such comfort. I’ve experienced that power in my own life. I have known the terror of nightmares. I have lived a fear-based life. I’ve known the compulsion to get up and check door locks several times at night, and feel the ceiling for heat of a possible fire in the attic. I’ve experienced sleepless nights with my mind running, and trying to numb the noise with loud music blaring in my ears to drown it out. In all these things, I also know the peace Jesus has brought to me. Like the man possessed by demons, I have had an encounter with the Prince of Peace. He has quieted the storms in my mind.
I can also say that the phrase, “You’ve come a long way baby.” Means quite a bit, and I know I still have a long way to go. I’m reminded of the account in the Bible of the Israelites possessing the promised land. They didn’t get all of it in one day. They had many battles. Many battles that taught them to fight. Many battles that taught them to trust. The battles I’ve fought have been much like that. One stronghold at a time being torn down. When the struggle to leave behind the nightmares was going on I could not imagine a night of peace without them. When I checked the doors at night, it was hard to imagine going to bed without contemplating it once. Stronghold by stronghold, battles fought, battles won. Peace given to a heart that desperately needed to know peace.
I once heard Beth Moore say how desperately she needed Jesus and His word. That had it not been for the word of the Bible and how it had reshaped her mind, she would not have the sanity she has. I agree with that sentiment. I can not be thankful enough for the truth that God’s word, “renews my mind”. That healing has brought so much peace. But I also know the reality that there are many more giants to slay.
Elevation Worship has a song called “It Is So”. There’s a phrase in it that has meant a lot to me lately:
“By Your stripes, I am healed
With one touch I am made whole
You have spoken, and I know that it is so
In the storm You are peace
And Your love won’t let me go
You have spoken, and I know that it is so”
Jesus looked at the demon possessed man in Gerasenes. He spoke freedom for him from the thousands of torments he was controlled by, and at that word there was peace. He spoke and it was so. What a comfort to know that the same power, love, and words of peace are extended to me today. When I come to Him struggling with anxiety or any other struggle I may face, I can know that He speaks and It is so.
I love the picture of peace when I think of that man sitting clothed and in his right mind. It’s that picture that God wants to make a reality for anyone who comes to Him. Jesus paid the price. “It is so.”