Have you ever encountered the reality that some people want help, but they don't necessarily want the help that is best for them? Sometimes it could be pride preventing them from receiving the help that is extended to them, and sometimes people don't want to accept the help because it would require change. For some, there may be skepticism or fear involved with the help that has been extended. No matter the reason, we can desire to help people but not everyone wants the help we can give. Jesus encountered the same reactions from people while He walked the earth. Some people wanted Him to go because they hated Him while others were afraid of His help. The verses I am reading today show us an interesting response that people had to Jesus when He came to their region; please read Matthew 8:28-34.
There are so many interesting dynamics in these verses, and I cannot address all of them in one little blog post, so I am going to focus on a few. First, I want to remind you that just before these verses, Jesus had just crossed the lake after finishing the Sermon on the Mount and calmed a dangerous storm while on the lake. After dealing with a storm that the disciples were sure was going to wreck the boat, they come to encounter two demon possessed men. Jesus struck fear into the demons and they begged to be allowed to go into the herd of pigs, so Jesus allowed it. When the people in the town found out about Jesus, they begged Him to go.
There are two other accounts for this story found in Mark 5 and Luke 8. In Mark's account, we learn that there were 2,000 pigs that were drowned in the lake. With that information, it would be easy to think that perhaps they were not happy about the loss of so many pigs; however, Luke adds a few more details. We are told in Luke 8:37 that a "great wave of fear," came over them. Before criticizing the village too harshly, consider how many times you were afraid of the help that God wanted to give you. Consider when God was giving you a helping hand and it didn't match with what you thought you needed. Maybe His help required a change you never considered and it scared you. God's work in our lives doesn't always mean that it is something we are comfortable with; in fact it is often something that we don't want to give up. When we refuse to give up something or accept the help that God is offering us, our reaction is no different than those in the region of Gadarenes. Even when it is scary or difficult, God wants to help and He wants us to trust Him.
Do you accept the help that God wants to give you, or do you push Him away?
This post is linked with Word Filled Wednesday.