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20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;

    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

    and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Read Mark 5:1-16

There are times when all the medicines, devices, and bandages can’t do the healing that’s really necessary.  Chains and shackles have been used over the centuries to bind and control those who were known to be troublesome, and these same implements were tried on the possessed man.  But, they couldn’t cure his being possessed by Legion, being broken apart whereupon Legion was able to strike fear into the local people, so much so they wouldn’t go near him.  Fear caused them to steer clear.  Until Jesus came.

In the Gospels, there are many times where Jesus heals people with words.  There are certainly times where he touched those needing healing, frequently setting aside cultural barriers and stigmas with each tender, loving touch.  But, there were always words spoken regardless of whether Jesus touched them, and they were spoken in a tender, loving way.  These words healed them of their suffering, and they continue to heal today.  We read the healing words of Jesus and, out of a heart of love, speak the same words to each other as we all struggle through life.  Don’t forget Jesus didn’t consider the past of those he spoke with.

Just as the possessed man approached Jesus, perhaps with his face twisted in rage by Legion, and screamed words to Jesus to avoid torment, sometimes we are driven by our own anxieties to express our anger towards God, just as the author of Psalm 73 did.  But, the words following verse 21 and 22 show a God of mercy, grace, and love.  What an incredible relief for us to read “…you hold my right hand!”  Do you have the same reaction I do when I read this?  Do you feel the message of compassion, empathy, and love these words carry?  As you read the passage of Psalm 73:21-26 several times, meditate on their meaning and the healing they provide.

 

21 When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward you.
23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
– Psalm 73:21-26

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By Rich Obrecht  

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