They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him anymore, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.
Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” So, he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.
Words of Hope
Do I believe in demon possession? Not in the supernatural sense, but in the spiritual sense I do. That is why this story resonates with me.
How many of us have personal demons? Demons in the form of unresolved issues we are holding chained inside ourselves that we allow to eat away at our serenity. I know I have had them, and one in particular had me howling and literally bruising myself, so I can identify with the man who Jesus healed.
It is no accident that the first step toward freeing myself from it was calling it by name. Mine was named Addiction. My powerlessness over it made me feel a lot like this man possessed by an unclean spirit. Naming it started me on the road to recovery, and giving myself into the care of my Higher Power led me to the steps of recovery that lead toward sobriety and serenity.
It is a daily process, but one that has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.