I think a lot about the story told in the Gospels, about how Jesus met a man with an unclean soul, who could not be bound by the chains of men. Jesus recognize that the man is possessed and drives the demons out into a heard of pigs, which then drowns themselves. Before driving the demons out, He asks their name. “We are legion,” they replied, “for we are many.”
This act, asking the name of the demon or demons, is an important part of many exorcism rituals. And I think about this story so often because of the impact naming my demons had on me.
My demons, anxiety and depression, feel like they are many as well, just like Legion. Nor do they seem to be demons that I can contain on my own, also like Legion. And while I realized early on that I wasn’t happy, that there were struggles I faced, it wasn’t until I got help, and got a diagnosis, that things started to turn around. Just naming the demons, set me on the path to exorcising them.
And while I am still on that path, the power my savior demonstrated, not just with Legion in the land of Gerasenes, but throughout the Bible, give me hope that with Him walking the path with me, that I can be stronger than my demons. Maybe I will never be able to fully drive them out, but simply preventing them from having power over me would be an important victory.
And when I think that victory is impossibly far away, I think of what Jesus did with Legion, and it gives me comfort and strength as I continue my journey in recovery. And I hope that now it can do the same for you.