Growing Where God has Planted You

Bible Reading: Mark 5:1-20

Can you imagine what was going through this poor man’s mind?  For so long, his mind had been under the control of a legion of demons.  His hometown feared him, and he had been isolated from his community.  There is no telling how marred his body is from breaking chains and shackles, or how scarred from the demons causing him to cut himself with stones.  But once Jesus enters the picture, Legion is cast out, and enters a herd of pigs.  For the first time in years, this man has control of himself again.  The first things he sees is about 2,000 demon-possessed pigs drowning themselves in the sea.  When he turns, his eyes see the Savior who has delivered him from hell on earth.  He clothes himself, and sits at the feet of Jesus.  He is hungry to hear all that Jesus has to say, and he is eager to follow after Him.  The townspeople are in shock, and cannot believe this is the same man whom they had abandoned.  The people plead with Jesus to leave, likely out of fear of their herds running to sea as well.

But this man.  He has been given a new life.  We can say that he has been born again to a new life of hope and freedom.  The end of this story is interesting.  As Jesus is preparing to sail away, this former demon-possessed man is begging to go with Jesus.  But Jesus denies him.  Instead, Jesus says, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  Jesus does not allow the man to follow him, but instead sends him home.  The Bible does not tell us how he responded, whether he was sad or angry at being denied.  But what we do read, is that this man obeyed his Savior.  He returns home, and tells everyone about what Jesus had done for him, and people marveled at his story.

Have you ever thought, “This is not where I am meant to be?”  Maybe you long to serve Jesus in a particular way, but it has not happened yet.  Sometimes, we desire to serve Jesus, but the service He assigns to us is not what we were expecting.  The man in the story wanted to follow Jesus across the sea, but Jesus assigned him to go home and tell all that God had done.  This was not what the man asked for, but he obeyed. 

God makes no mistakes.  When we are committed to following Him, we do not need to fear that He has put us in the wrong place, or that He is not using us to our fullest potential.  God has planted us where we are, for this time, because He has a purpose in it.  How long we will be in this place doing what we are doing is unknown to us, but our attitude should be one of obedience.  We are not called to be successful, but faithful.  Believe in God, and that He has a plan for you.  He has planted you here for this time in your life.  It is not your duty to figure out the next move, but to flourish and bear fruit for God right here.  You are not in the wrong place.  God has you here for a reason, so strive to follow Him and honor Him with your life.

Call to Action: Do not doubt or fear whether you are in the right place or not.  Instead, put your faith in God, and follow Him.  God will lead you to where He wants you.  As you follow Him, also be faithful to serve Him.  Have you shared the gospel with anyone lately?  Who is the last person you talked to about Jesus?  Are you waiting for the right time in life to serve God?  If so, the time is now!  Find a way to serve God where you are.  You could join a ministry at your church, or host a Bible study in your home, or even serve at a local mission.  Regardless of what you choose, choose something.  Grow where you have been planted, and may God use you greatly for His name sake.