“Howbeit (however) Jesus suffered (permitted) him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”Mark 5:19
I have met many people in my life who’ve made lasting impressions on my life, both good and bad. Some meant well but did not always fulfill their intention, and others did not mean so well from the beginning. I have fallen in both of these categories myself, but God has worked in my heart to grow a desire to be someone who would make a lasting impression in the lives of others for His glory. I once told my sister that I did not want to walk in the footsteps of others, but I wanted to create footsteps that others would walk in. Her reaction was to mock me, and I see now that I was naive to think I could create any new path as there is nothing new under the sun. My desire is to now walk on the paths that God would lead me.
I have been around some famous people in my life, some of whom I knew and liked and others who simply intrigued me. I was a big fan of Charles Barkley growing up, and I was elated when he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. It was one of my goals to interview him for my English class, and it was a good excuse to get to meet him. I had all of these lofty goals to write the Suns a letter and ask for an interview as there were no email in those days. Alas, I waited too long to send my letter, so I ended up interviewing someone who was less important. I thought my hopes of ever meeting Barkley were dashed, but my luck was about to change.
I had a friend who had attended basketball camp, and he was given an invitation to a private Phoenix Suns practice. He invited me and another friend to attend the practice with him, and I could hardly contain myself. We arrived at the arena and were escorted to the lower level so that we could enter the arena through the same tunnel the Suns used during game time. I entered the tunnel and was about halfway through when I heard a familiar voice that startled me with excitement. I turned around and there he was in the flesh and within only three feet of me. I said, “Hey Charles!” He looked at me and responded, “How you doing?” He continued walking past me, and I just stood there in awe and disbelief. I was excited to have met him for a brief moment, but I can promise you, he has no memory of our encounter. Although I was excited, my life was not changed in any way by meeting him. I had a story to tell, but nothing else of lasting value.
The demon-possessed man mentioned here in Mark was a lot of things before he met Jesus, but he was never the same after His encounter with Him. He met Jesus with no clothes, possessed by a legion of demons, and on his way to hell. Jesus did not have any intentions of harming this demon-possessed man, but He instead had compassion on him. The man was never the same after he met the Savior, and his whole life was changed completely. He wanted to join Jesus and his disciples, but Jesus commanded him to stay where he was and tell all his friends and those he came in contact with about the life-changing meeting he had with Jesus. I also have personally come to know myself how life-changing it is when you meet the King of Kings.
Where are you today friend? Have you met the King of Kings? Have you experienced what this demon-possessed man experienced? Have you tasted of His compassion and love? If you have, are you telling others as we have been commanded to? Are you embarrassed to speak about him, or do you gratefully proclaim His goodness, love and compassion? May we taste and see that the Lord is good. He will change our lives like none other if we allow Him to. Oh what great things He desires to do in us and through us!
Stay in the Fight!