Convulsions – Good News for January 12

12 01 2010

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”

Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet!  Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him.

All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

The Daily Path: In today’s Gospel, Mark describes the violent convulsion of an unclean spirit as Jesus commands its departure from a man present during His teaching. It reminds me how I often struggle to retain something that is not good for me before finally casting it aside with some sort of little explosion.

For example, think of the times we feel the need to be right about something. We’ll go out of our way to prove ourselves correct. Sometimes this causes damage to a relationship. On those occasions when I can accept being wrong, it often requires a little convulsion on my part before I can let go. I don’t go screaming out of the room, but there is some upheaval that occurs within before “the demon” is expelled.

Another example of these convulsions (conversions) often comes in asking forgiveness. Think of the times you’ve done something to cause hurt. How long before you ask forgiveness… assuming you d0? I know that all too often I’ll chose to dwell for an extended period in the House of Ego, blind to the truth, all the while allowing a false sense of self-righteousness to fester away at the wounds inflicted. Then, after an epic struggle within, the light of truth suddenly breaks through and I accept what must be done. In that moment of final convulsion comes great relief, and best of all… inner peace.

Seizures – Good News for February 23

23 02 2009

Mark 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him.  He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”

Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”

He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. 

Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” 
He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.

When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

The Daily Path: I recently had a seizure. Like the boy in Mark’s gospel, I became rigid (in my outlook). I foamed at the mouth (with anger). The deaf spirit inside of me (a wound) caused me to do things that I immediately found horrifying. Yet, in the moment, I couldn’t control it.

I share this because I’m just now starting to see how these ancient  wounds have possessed me for so many years. As I draw closer to God in my life He’s enabling me to see and hear with greater clarity than ever before. As my eyes are opened I’m not very happy with what I see, but I cannot turn away.

I also see that only one thing can heal my old wounds and drive out the spirit so that it will never return. Prayer.    

Room to Chat: Jesus you know what’s in my heart. Heal these deep wounds and lift me up. Only You can do this.