There is precisely one lesson I remember from my physics class in college. It was the only class I almost failed, and after all these years, Newton’s third law is the only thing that seems to have stuck with me. The law goes something like this: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In my life, I’ve seen how this law seems to be true with spiritual experiences, not just physical things. I’ve seen how the Lord compensates for the forces of evil with the power of His grace. Where sin abounds because of the Fall, grace abounds also because of Christ and His Atonement.
Christ’s grace in abundance.
I have felt His grace. Tangible. Thick. Powerful enough to penetrate a heart. Paul described it by saying that where sin abounds, grace does “much more abound” (Romans 5:20). I have witnessed that truth. While I’ve felt His grace powerfully in temples and chapels, I’ve also felt the Savior’s immense grace inside the doors of a prison.
I am drawn to prisonlike places—perhaps because I have a son who was incarcerated, or maybe because I know what it’s like to feel bound by something you are incapable of overcoming on your own. Years ago, I drove through the country of the Gadarenes. It is a quiet place with green, rolling hills. As I drove, I imagined how it must have felt prisonlike to one individual in the New Testament.
“Legion,” the man answered, suggesting he was possessed by many devils (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30). But Jesus knew how to remove what held this man captive. There were pigs, and a cliff, and a lake, and then … a healed man, sitting at the feet of his Savior. Clothed and in his right mind. I can’t help but wonder what thoughts and feelings were going through this man’s soul now that he was finally at peace.
When Christ boarded a ship to leave, the man begged to go with Him. Perhaps he felt especially safe being near the Lord. But the Savior had a different mission in mind for him. Jesus asked the man to return home and tell his friends about what had happened. And so the man went, testifying throughout the whole city “how great things Jesus had done unto him” (Luke 8:39).
I try to imagine that man’s life before Jesus, before experiencing His grace and power. “Always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5). Then Christ and His grace appeared, at the very place where he was bound. And a life of chains—captivity and running from demons—was replaced with a testimony of the mercy and power of Jesus Christ.
Do you ever feel like your past might destroy you? There is One who sees the good in you, no matter what your life has been like. He knows your name. He has great things in store for those who seek the Lord. In that place where you feel bound, plead for His grace. Trust that it is available in abundance.
Jesus Christ sees you.
He can help you overcome.
I saw Him change the life of my son.
He can, and will, do the same for everyone who turns to Him.