Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"When the demon had thrown the man down, he came out without hurting the man." Luke 4:35
For almost two weeks I have been overcome with what the doctor said is bronchitis. I have had no energy, been coughing all the time and just wanted to stay in bed. Haven't been able to get anything done. There's lots to do and yet I am just not able. I have never been possessed by a demon, but being sick feels like being invaded by some foreign host, some legion of demons who take my will away. I have felt helpless and impatient, wanting to be better, trying to will myself better, and frustrated with the slow progress of healing. I have missed several meetings and along with research and study time. I am not always patient with my own healing, and sometimes even, I get frustrated with God for letting me get sick when I have so much to do. Sounds juvenile, I know, but it a fairly natural reaction in times like these.
Jesus encounters a man with a demon, deals with the demon directly and heals the man. There is all sorts of speculation on what this possession might look like in our modern day. Epilepsy, Turrets Syndrome and other physical and mental illnesses have been suggested. But we all know what it is like to be possessed - to be overwhelmed by illness, sadness, worry or situations that disallow us from normal function and outlook. Whatever Jesus understood was wrong with this man, he helped him beyond his possession and put him back safely. He restored his life, and others believed because of this healing.
Today, I want to spend my day giving thanks for healing, and the gift it is to return to normal functioning. I know there are so many who are broken by illness and disease, by loss and grief, by fear and despair. May my thanks for restoration also empower me to compassion for others - others who simply want to be free to return to their normal existence. Jesus walked among us and had compassion. May I walk this day with the compassion of Christ. May we all have the strength to ask God to give us compassion and concern for the world around us.