By: Maggie Morrison
God is constantly asking us to make sacrifices big and little in our lives. Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus for any prolonged amount of time has a life marked by sacrifice. After all, Jesus came to us in the flesh for the purpose of laying down His life for ours. But, along with the sacrifices we make comes the miracle of transformation.
In my life, the ultimate surrender to the Lordship of Jesus occurred with the sacrifice of alcohol. When God asked me to give this idol up and allow Him the throne of my heart, it was painful. Amidst this sacrifice, though, I have seen great blessings and a miraculous freedom only found in Christ. However, even after we surrender something to Jesus, it can still take a hold of our thoughts and cause us to stumble. I have been seeing in my own life the power of perspective and where my eyes choose to focus. We can too easily miss God’s work if we are looking through the wrong lens.
When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:33-37 NIV
These pigs represented the entire livelihood of this town. They just witnessed a great miracle but lost everything in return. In this moment, the people had a critical decision to make. Would they choose to worship Jesus for the miracle or hate him for their loss? Where would they choose to focus? We are continually given this same choice to make in our own lives. Will we be angry over our loss, or will we choose to be in awe of our miracle? Will we dwell on our pigs or on Jesus?
I find that so often my focus is on my pigs, and the outcome becomes a bad attitude. When I view my circumstances in the light of my loss, I become the victim, I push God away, and I chase my own desires. In contrast, when I focus my eyes on Jesus, I am able to see my sacrifice itself as the blessing. I become more like Jesus, and He continues to transform me into His image. This is the ultimate miracle.
What is God asking you to sacrifice so He can perform your miracle? I pray we would remain focused on Jesus and not allow ourselves to be drowned along with our pigs, but when we do see our pigs spin out of control, we would be reminded to take a closer look. Jesus can always be found nearby.