Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)
Mark 5:18b-19 – The man who had been controlled by the unclean spirits kept begging Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus refused to permit him, but said to him, Go home to your own [family and relatives and friends] and bring back word to them of how much the Lord has done for you, and [how He has] had sympathy for you and mercy on you. (AMPC)
When I was a kid in Idaho's Bitterroot Wilderness, between the Snake and Salmon Rivers, one of the walls of our ranch was the Payette National Forest, with no neighbours nearer than 50 miles. Our front door was exactly in line with the back door at the other end of the house. One day, my father bellowed at me, "Run and open the back door, quick!" As I did so, a herd of wild pigs with sharp tusks, greasy, brown fur, and beady little eyes, stampeded past, right through our living room and kitchen and out the back door in a flurry of sharp hooves. As a scrawny eight-year-old, I could've been trampled.
The only other true story that I know about a herd of pigs occurred in the region of the Gerasenes, nearly 2000 years ago, when Jesus was going about healing. The details are faithfully reported in three of the four gospels. A demon-ridden man who has never known peace, suddenly finds himself gifted with a "right mind" when touched by Christ. Though he begs to come along, Jesus tells him to stay where he is and let everyone know what God has done. Meanwhile, the demons infest a herd of pigs, which rush into the sea and drown.
The pig story was one of many in my past about which I was horribly embarrassed. The passage of wild pigs through anyone else's living room would've been noteworthy for certain, but not in my family. I've always tried to pretend that I had been brought up just like everyone else. Living back in the bush without any guidance, I didn't know what most people take for granted. But my heavenly Father always had my back. When God brought me back to Him, I began to see His hand throughout my life. With my past no longer something to hide, I began writing down what had happened to me.
Someone said to me recently, in a fairly envious tone, "It must be great to have faith when a pandemic breaks out." "Well, yeah, sure," I said. And then, I shared how you get it, since his invitation to share my personal account of God's grace was obvious. Blessings, they say, come to those who notice.
If only all believers might tell their own stories of God's providence and grace, bringing back word of how much the Lord has done for them, and how He has had sympathy for them and mercy on them!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we are so grateful for Your guiding hand throughout our lives, first, how You found us, then, how You grew us up in Yourself, brought us closer, kept us safe, used us in Your service, and allowed us to see Your hand protecting and guiding as we followed along. Help us to share these stories in faith, wherever You lead. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Great story and application, Rose.
Thanks, Rose, for the encouragement to tell our story to those without faith.
Wow! What an experience! Praise God that He kept you safely tucked beneath the shadow of His wings. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.
I am so glad you write your stories, Rose. Your strong faith always shines through to help guide others. May God continue to bless you!
Thank you for your story and encouragement to count our many blessings and give God the glory. How we need to remember a hymn or scripture passage that has blessed us.
Your prayer especially resonated with me. A good summary of my life too.
Good morning Rose,
I don’t really have a story to tell, but I did enjoy reading your devotional this morning.
Blessings and we wish you and yours a safe and good weekend.
Thanks Rose! Beautiful devotional, am blessed!
We must be ready to tell our story of deliverance and salvation to the world as souls to be won are hanging on them!
Good morning dear Rose. Another wonderful devotional.
Your messages always draw me right in and I can almost envisage being there, although perhaps not this one. What an experience.
But for the grace of God go I.
Thank you for sharing your story. I have been conscious of God’s presence in my life for over 50 years. I spent many years working in India. God has blessed me abundantly. I have shared my testimony in my church but pray for those who do not know Jesus. God bless you as you continue to write.
Every piece is unique and has a little story of its own and is outlined with a special embroidered stitch. Colourful and unique, that describes your life well. I cannot even imagine those pigs trampling through and had I seen it in a movie I would certainly thought it outlandish for sure.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing stories from your early life and how you now share your faith of the Lord’s love and care with others. Yes, it is important that we spread the word of how the Lord watches over us in our daily lives and be ever thankful for His guidance.
Blessings to you.
I am 67 and I enjoy telling stories of the screwy things that happened in my past.
My first apartment – I was on my own – woke up in the middle of the night dreaming that a motorboat was whizzing around my foot.
Pulled back the covers, I saw a little mouse scampered out of my bedroom.
It was winter and he was just trying to stay warm by snuggling my foot!
God love you and keep on writing!
Years ago we heard a speaker from Newfoundland who had such an accent we had trouble understanding him.
He said the house he had was lined up the way yours was (had a special name in the south) the rooms all had to be aligned. When spring floods came, so their house did not get washed away, they opened front and back door so water could flow through, so he said. We don’t know if it was just a Newfie story.
Amen Rose. Fabulous story! I could just picture you running like crazy down that hall to open the door.
You must have lived in what I have heard termed as a “shotgun house“. The front and the back doors line up with one another connected by a hallway that you could shoot a shotgun through and get the bad guys as they ran out the other door!
Have a great week and l am glad you were able to share your faith with that man.
Thank you for sharing your story. Because God has done so much for me, I tell everyone who asks why I can live in my own home and look after my needs. God graciously healed me when death wanted to take me. All I asked was for Him to let me live long enough to raise my three babies. Now I have Grandchildren and Great-grand kiddos. How good is God?
No one hearing our stories can dispute them. Keep on telling yours and I will keep on telling mine. God is good!
Wow, how cool was that story!
I love your faith and passion for our Lord. A few years ago I received permission from our pastor to tell my testimony at service one Sunday. I received a standing ovation which embarrassed me, for it was not me who saved me, it was Jesus.
We are so blessed to have our faith during this time of COVID 19. I pray for those who are frightened and depressed but also for those out there not caring for their fellow men and women.
God bless you Rose. Stay safe and healthy.
I remember some of the stories you have shared.
You are amazing and very blessed.
I love reading your devotionals when passes on to me. Perhaps you could just send them to me.
Thank you and keep up the good work.
Isn’t it amazing how God shapes each of us, His children, so very differently through our life experiences? Your unconventional growing up nonetheless prepared you for work that He has fitted you to do. We may not always like the path He puts us on or the tools He uses to shape us, but we can look back and see the good in it all.
I found out that south of us that type of building where each room is directly behind each other is called shotgun. I do not know why.
I can hear the drumming of the pigs’ hooves as you tell this story. You have a knack for drawing people in and allowing them to see through your eyes.
Be thankful for the blessings in life indeed. Through faith I have been able to develop my own relationship with God.
Nice to read a column by you again.
I spent some years on my uncle’s farm where were had hens and hogs.
My grandfather was a tough, strict, no nonsense man who never showed any affection for any animal. No animal, except for the 600 pound “mother pig” who he would call, pet, give treats to and who would follow him around everywhere. One year we saw this pig dragging her hind legs. My grandfather, fearing my uncle (the farm owner) might ship the pig for processing as dog food, lead her into the bush, dispatched her with a rifle, and buried her in an undisclosed location. His wife had died a few years earlier, all his friends were dead, and he only had us, his family, and at that point he had lost only his pet. Today, I realise that he and his brothers and sister had survived the last great pandemic. I wonder what they thought facing this in the middle of a Saskatchewan farm, no idea what to do to fight it, as it ravaged the world. After two world wars, their pandemic, and losing a child to illness I guess that was why he focused only on family, except for that pig.
Keep well Rose.