Last week I was at a conference where Nadia Bolz-Weber was one of the main speakers. She talked about this passage and wondered if demon possession happens today. Then she told the story of her own struggle with depression. It was so intense that she named her depression Francis and considered it a roommate. Read the story here.
Nadia’s point was that there are things in this life that can take possession of us. They grab our hearts and keep us bound up so tight that we are not able to know and experience the love and grace of God: things like fear, depression, anxiety, addiction, hatred, pride, selfishness, envy, bitterness. Hear me. It’s not that God doesn’t love us because these things have a hold on us. It’s the fact that these things have a hold on us that we can’t experience the love of God that is constantly being freely given to us.
Jesus sets us free from these things. Today’s reading shows us that Jesus has the power to cast the demons out of people, to forgive sins, and to heal people from sickness.
What possesses you today? Is there something in your life that keeps you so preoccupied that you can’t simply stop, take a deep breath, and know–truly believe and trust–that you are loved by God and that everything is going to be OK? If you can’t do that, then something is whispering lies so loudly in your ear that it is drowning out the quiet voice of God.
We can’t be naive to think that reading a simple devotional will deliver you from your demons. But trust this: You can be free. Talk to a trusted friend today and get the help you need.
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