Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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No one was strong enough to subdue him

No one was strong enough to subdue him. (Mark 5:4)

How frightened this manís loved ones must have felt! When Mark mentions this manís family, he could mean parents or siblings, perhaps a wife and children. Imagine the impact that this manís spiritual ordeal had on them. Anxiety about his harming himself. Ridicule and marginalization from the rest of the village. And above all, a sense of helplessness in the face of evil.

Donít rule out the possibility that the ones trying to hold him down with chains were those who loved himóthe ones who thought they could intervene with the right words or who just wanted to keep him safe even if it meant restraining him. Still, ďNo one was strong enough to subdue him,Ē and the whole familyís suffering continued (Mark 5:4).

Jesus saw not only the manís pain but theirs. Having undergone spiritual attack himself, he could identify with the tormented man. But he also knew what it was like to worry and to be mocked, so he could identify with this family. So Jesus didnít seek only to deliver this man from his plight; he wanted release for his family too. As soon as he liberated the man, Jesus sent him back to his town to proclaim the good news of what had happened to him. Finally the manís entire family could experience joy and freedom!

Everyone has family members going through adversity. Often it feels like your best human efforts to solve a family memberís problems just donít work. Every safeguard or solution put in place to help that person gets pulled apart and smashed. But Godís love is even greater than ours. When or how he answers prayers sometimes doesnít make sense to us, but his response is always the best one.

Whatís more, he doesnít just work with those at the center of these situations, but with everyone involved. He sees the parents of the sick infant, the spouse of the addict, the children of the couple experiencing financial difficulties. Each one he blesses and strengthens in a unique way.

In the lives of people close to you, there will always be circumstances that seem out of hand, that you feel unable to do anything about. Trust in the power and love of the Lordóand remember that he works with you too!

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