“Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.” – Luke 8:37
This verse makes me sad. The people had just seen or heard about Jesus curing the man possessed by “Legion”, many demons (vs. 30). They saw a man who had been so violent he broke chains finally calm and in his right mind (vs. 29, 35). Instead of rejoicing with this man who had been tortured by demons for a long time and now healed by Jesus, they were afraid. A Power greater than the one who had controlled the man’s life was in their midst and they feared Him. They pushed Him away. I don’t understand. And yet… maybe I do.
I am afraid of many things. The fight or flight mechanism in me seems to be on constant alert. I fear walking that extra block because I might pass out. I fear rejection and disapproval. I fear embarrassment and illness. I fear leaving the house because that makes all of these other fears more likely to come true. I fear that I will never be healed in this life. Isn’t that ironic? The Power that can heal me, a power greater than the strongest of demons, walks with me… and yet, I’m still afraid.
What if the miracle I’ve been hoping for lies in the midst of the things that I fear?
What if I failed to walk that extra block, thereby missing a neighbor who needed a friend? What if I protected myself from needing help and missed the opportunity to receive from someone who really needed to give? What if someone missed hearing a life-giving, freedom-releasing word from the Lord because I was too afraid of rejection and disapproval to say it? What if by fearing and hating illness, I’ve also pushed away the miracles God wants to work in my heart, or other hearts, through it? What if the fear in me is pushing Jesus away just because I don’t understand what He is doing?
Ohhh, my heart. I don’t want to miss Jesus! I don’t want to miss a miracle, big or small. I don’t want to ask Jesus to leave because I’m afraid. No. I want to run and meet with Him in the middle of my fears and let His power work miracles in my life. The people Luke was writing about had just witnessed a miracle but they didn’t understand such healing power, so they feared it. I don’t understand Jesus’ healing power, but I want to embrace it. The people were overcome with fear. I want to be overcome with God’s presence. A power greater than my fear is with me. I don’t want to push it away. Heal me, Lord.
What miracle could you be missing out on because you are afraid?