Stop Staring at Your Pigs (They’re Dead)

Days 13 & 14

Matthew 8:28-34

Sometimes, when Jesus comes to you with the hope of His kingdom, He comes unexpectedly, without announcement, and He starts in on the things that terrify you most. Like maybe you have a horrible situation on the edge of your life, something you have shoved away and refused to think about, much as the people of the town whose crazy men were so violent no one could come near them. Oh well, you think, if I put the problem far away and just don’t deal with it, I can go about my life. I can make do.

Only Jesus has this way of jumping right into the middle of the things that you most want to hide. Here He comes, seeking you out, ready to talk with you, and right away He sees the worst. Those crazy men jump out to scare him off. That’s perfectly OK with Jesus, though, because He knows that for you to receive the kingdom, He must help you make room for it. Next thing you know, you’re running down the path to see Jesus sitting calmly with those violent, demon-possessed men, and they are smiling and so happy!—and all your pigs are floating belly up in the sea.

This is absolutely not OK. Don’t You know how important those pigs were, how much I needed them? Jesus, I needed them! And don’t You know who these men are, what they have done? This isn’t safe, Jesus, what you are doing. This is scary. And it isn’t in my best interests at all.

Jesus smiles at you. I came to set you free, He says. And the thing holding you captive isn’t the thing you thought it was. You must lose all the important things. The things you think you need so badly are the things keeping you from Me. 

Here, let Me show you, He’s saying. Let Me offer you a better way. I’ll give you something much more valuable than those pigs if You let me. But you’re shaking your head, backing away, eyes still fixed on what you have lost. No. The cost of this healing is too high. 

Jesus will not force His way into your life. He cannot make you accept his gift, and if you choose to mourn over what is lost and send Him away, He will go. You can stare at your pigs and let the bitterness and fear consume you. Or you can let Him in, let Him show you what He has to give. He has left some reminders for you, some once-dead, terrifying tomb-dwellers now overflowing with bright life. Look, they say, over and over. Look what He can do.

6 thoughts on “Stop Staring at Your Pigs (They’re Dead)

  1. I tried to scare Jesus away,
    and made an awful frowny face
    that I hoped would clearly say
    “I don’t need Your stinkin’ grace!
    I do good right on my own,
    worse than some, better than most,
    and so, JC, I stand alone
    and do not need no whipping post
    of, oh, I’ve sinned, so please forgive
    my broken and so contrite heart!
    Some existed, but I LIVED!”,
    and then He took it all apart
    to say, “I’ve heard it all, it’s sappy…
    now, would you not rather be happy?”


  2. Wow! What a powerful revelation. The thing holding you captive isn’t the thing you thought it was is such a powerful statement. It really opened my eyes and made me think about my life and what could be holding me back.


  3. Love this post. What a powerful image you have created with your words.
    Thanks for sharing.
    (Visiting from #20)


  4. This is such a wonderful reflection on this story. Fabulous. Praise God. Why is it so difficult to see things that really matter in the way He does? I love the way you write and the title got me! Blessings. Dawn #27


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