There are a lot of accounts in the bible about Jesus, but the one story I probably love the most is the story of Jesus and the man who had been living in the cemetery. No one had been able to restrain him as he just broke the chains used to bind him, and day and night he could be heard shrieking and seen cutting himself with pieces of broken stones. In other words, this man was in pretty bad shape, which is when Jesus arrives on the scene having just quieted a storm and sorted some stressed disciples out. He comes up to the shore, gets out of the boat and sets the man who happened to be possessed by a legion of demons free. Then Jesus simply turns around, gets back in the boat and returns to the other side of the lake again. (Check out Mark chapter 5 in the bible for the whole story)
What amazes and touches my heart every time I think about this is that Jesus didn’t pray for, speak to or do anything else except reach out to this one man, even after all the effort he had taken to journey through a storm to get there. It was for the one that Jesus went to all that trouble. For one man He sets out on the water after a long day of people crowding around Him as they sought to hear Him teach and as he met their needs and ministered healing to them. He made the effort to travel so that he could demonstrate His great love, not for a huge crowd of people, but for the one so he could restore him to health and wholeness again.
Why? Because every single person; every man, woman and child on the planet matters to Jesus. He sees us in our weakness and brokenness; He sees us on our good and bad days. He sees the secret desires of our hearts. When we rejoice He rejoices too, when we hurt He hurts also. The bible actually says He sympathises with us in our fraility and understands our humanity. Why? Because Jesus being God came as a man, being tempted in every way just as we are, and then conquered sin so that we could be set free to live life as we were created to. (Hebrews 4:14-15).
Today whatever you are facing, whatever you are holding in your heart. Whatever you are hoping for and dreaming of, know that Jesus knows all about it. Nothing is hidden from His sight, nor is anything too insignificant for Him to care about or want to help you with. From directing us to find a car park, to facing our deepest fears and weaknesses He wants to be part of our lives, to set us free from whatever is holding us back and to guide, strengthen and comfort us in our time of weariness, need or weakness.
Just as Jesus crossed to the other side of the lake to help one man that day He will help you today. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) What He did for that one man He will do for you. All it takes is for you to make a decision to leave the graveyard of your past and any weariness, guilt, fear and whatever else you may be ailing from today and choose to come to Jesus, because He’s right there on the “shore” waiting for you.
“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Passion translation)
By the way, the man who Jesus set free that day went and told everyone what Jesus had done for him. He became one of the first missionaries and evangelists for Jesus and His life was never the same again. He discovered that day how much he mattered to Jesus and today wherever and whoever you are, know that you matter too.
“So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.” (Mark 5:20)
Prayer: Jesus I come to you right now and give you my life. Please would you take all the broken, weary, fearful and ugly parts of my life and transform me from the inside out. I’m coming out of the “graveyard” and choosing to follow you and the amazing life you have planned for me today. In Jesus name Amen.