26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.
In this story a man is healed. Delivered. Freed. He is gifted with wholeness of mind and presumably body as well. But his healing did not come neatly. It did not come quietly or perhaps even quickly. The New International Version says that the unclean spirit “came out of him with a shriek.” Jesus allows the shrieking.
As I ponder what implications this shrieking has in my life, I’m reminded that healing is a process. Yes, I’ve certainly experienced miraculous deliverance before – Heaven opening, pouring light and joy into my soul and freeing me from depression. But at times, wholeness has come through time and pain and shrieking.
This series we’ve been contemplating the interplay of two kingdoms: the kingdom of this world (of darkness, of the devil) and the kingdom of Heaven (of light, of Jesus). I imagine this shrieking, this struggle, this tension occurring when we are being freed from the tight grip of addiction and sin and entrapment in the kingdom of darkness. Satan does not let go easily and it is not always smooth sailing from one side to the other. Because the kingdom of Heaven is here and not yet, the shrieking is part of the process.
Though the process is hard, be encouraged that His promise of wholeness prevails. Many times deliverance comes step-by-step, choice-by-choice. In my own life, I’ve experienced immediate relief from depression and anxiety and I’ve also experienced relief as a result of daily, hard choices to persevere, to trust, to thank Him through dark days.
Maybe wholeness for you is an immediate one or maybe it’s taking that step toward healing at Celebrate Recovery or calling up a pastor or a friend. Maybe it’s obeying the voice of God when it’s difficult, even if you have to complain through it. Jesus knows the struggle, He knows we are still living in this world of sin and death.
Today take a moment to jot a prayer of thanksgiving to your Lord. Thank Him for the healing that is coming even if pain is still present. As you listen to the lyrics of The Wound is Where the Light Gets In by Jason Gray, may you be empowered in your journey toward wholeness.
By Ellen Rosenberger