This is the question that I have been asking myself after reading the following biblical story.
When he [Jesus] arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
When I first read this, I felt angry at the town people for wanting Jesus to leave. But then I later asked myself,
How would I feel if those pigs were mine?
And by the way, Mark’s gospel tells us that there were 2,000 pigs that were drowned in the lake!
So how would I feel? And how would you feel if they were your pigs?
Would I be angry at Jesus? And would you?
Would I accept it?
Would I accept losing 2000 pigs???
I wonder how much pigs are worth today.
Well my acceptance of what happened would depend on my relationship and my knowledge of Jesus, wouldn’t it? That Jesus would somehow reimburse me, and that things would work out. Ultimately, that He has a good plan for me.
But in the story, it doesn’t appear that Jesus made any effort to apologize or to reimburse the owners, whoever they were.
You know sometimes that’s the way things happen isn’t it. God takes things away from us and doesn’t say anything about it. Or maybe He has said something. Yes, it seems to me that He has told us that if we seek His kingdom and His righteousness that all the things we need will be given to us. (in Matthew 6:33).
Maybe you are say…
I don’t have pigs, and I will never have pigs. So how does this story apply to me?
Well, you may not have pigs, but you have other thing that God may want to take away—for His good purposes. Yes, Jesus sent the demons into the pigs to drown for a purpose—for His good purpose. And if there was a purpose in what He did in that particular story, then whatever He does in your life, even if it is tragic, there will be a purpose for it, a good purpose.
God may choose to take away your…
Or your Job,
Or your house,
Or even your children and family.
Or all of it!!
If God took one or all of these things away from you how would you feel? What would you do?
You may be thinking, God would never do that because He is good.
Oh really. Well, He did it to Job.
Yes, through Satan, God tragically took everything away from him, even his health.
And why did He do that? He did it for a very good purpose, to prove to Satan—and to all of us—that Job would be loyal to Him. And in the end God restored all of what Job had and more (Job 42:12-17).
Well, I am still asking myself, that question: What if those pigs were mine? I hope I will never be angry at God for whatever He decides to do in my life that may be painful. I want to be able to trust Him always, in every circumstance. For His purposes in the world, that include me, will always be good.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28-29.