Friday, February 3, 2017

Nothing Wasted, 6: Mind Problems

"So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed" (Mark 5:20, NIV).

Jesus led his disciples to cross an ocean of water and through a storm to encounter and engage one man. The man was an outcast and found his only refuge in the death and decay of the graveyard. The only place this refuse of society found the closest thing to peace when in the land of people who "used" to be, but no longer were. His mind was gone, along with hope, purpose, peace, and acceptance. He lived as a madman without care to what he did to himself or how he was perceived by others. He lived as he had been labeled. But Jesus crossed-over into a territory that wasn't familiar to Jews in practice or in proper.

Jesus saw the man for who he really was, not for how he acted, what he had done, or how he was perceived by others. Jesus refused to look at the man through man's own perception of himself. He asked his name. He cared about the man behind the madness. The power of the love of Jesus to see beyond was power enough to bring him beyond. When Jesus left the area, he dispatched the man who once spoke venomously and violently to go and proclaim victoriously what God had done in him. Society dealt with a problem. Jesus dealt with a purpose. What the man had been through was not wasted. What had been his madness was now his message!

I have been misunderstood by what people saw on the surface of who I am, only to be perceived by what they assumed was beyond the surface. I have felt like the madman who was judged and outcast. But I also know the power of the voice of Jesus to speak to my purpose not just to my problem. I know the freedom of His restorative touch in my life. This passage is no longer for me about what I have been through, but on how God uses the "nothing wasted" story in my life in the lives of others. More than anything, I want to see people with the patients and the grace in which the eyes of Jesus has seen me. I want God to use what has been my madness as a message that speaks to message beyond the madness in others. I want others to know that what they have done, how others see them, and even how they perceive themselves is not the final answer on who God purposed them to be.

Therefore, I know that there has to be more beneath the surface of the emotions I face in others. I will depend upon God for the strength to look beyond the madness and see the face of one who has a name, who has a purpose, and who has a story. I will not be used by my own emotions to reinforce the lie the enemy is already speaking. I will live the grace and the truth, even in the tough things, so that others will know that the battles lost and the battles fought in the mind are never wasted. 

Lord, You are the "Great I Am." I know that You are bigger than every failure, every fault, and every fear. I thank You that with every mountain You have brought me over, You continue to show Your strength, Your love, and Your calling for my life. Lord, I know that I cannot do this by myself. I am so inadequate, but I know that your strength is made perfect in my weakness. I know that my purpose is made sure in Your promise for me. I thank You God. Lord I depend on You. I need Your eyes to see the things in me that I can't see. I need Your eyes to see others in a way that is beyond what is natural for me to see. I need Your eyes that I may only see as You do. Lord, help me to be speak with Your voice of restoration and hope into those who see themselves lots in the struggles and in the battles of their own minds. Lord, I know that You have promised me that I have the mind of Christ. Help me to live that message for myself and to others. I thank You for all of the battles in my own mind that are not wasted, but are being used to speak restoration and renewal to others. Thank You, Jesus. It's in YOUR NAME. Amen.

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