Thursday, July 7, 2016

SCARS

While walking on the treadmill one day I thought about SCARS. Everyone has scars. Some are physical scars inflicted by a surgeon or by a conflict or accidentally. I have scars on my abdomen – one small one looks like an appendectomy scar. I received it when my younger sister and I, as toddlers, fought over a pair of scissors. I have another large scar running from my belly button downward about four inches. It’s a Caesarean scar from my daughter’s birth. The emergency operation saved her life and blessed us with a beautiful baby girl. My younger sister has a big scar the shape of an iron on her right leg. She sat playing near the ironing board while our older sister ironed. The iron fell and boy that must have hurt. Her scar is visible and affected her view of her appearance growing up.

Jesus had scars also – in his hands, his feet and his side.

These are all physical scars. These scars serve as reminders of injury. They no longer cause us physical pain. Scars show the amazing power of our body to heal. My thoughts about scars were prompted by the Deacon in charge of Senior lunch. He talked about how amazing the body is – healing a cut in just a few days. And he said we don’t see the holes in our streets magically fill up like this. Yet the human body often quickly repairs damage done to it.

We all have scars but many of them are inside, unseen, hidden. We’ve all been hurt. No one goes through life unscathed. Some of us are hurt more deeply than others. Some have lost a mother or father when they were a young child. Some have been abused, abandoned, or misunderstood as children. Some were scarred by parents divorcing - it hurt so much. Conflicts in families abound – between spouses, with parents, with children. Some of us experience major life-threatening illness. We weep over these kinds of hurts. We also weep over words people say to us that criticize or hurt us. And we inflict others with unkind words. We live in a world of hurt. Hurt people, hurt people.

Jesus had inner scars also. He wept over Lazarus death. He wept over Jerusalem.
Though he reached some people with his message of love and grace – others mocked and killed him. He went through much suffering, rejection and even death for us. And he rose again. Scripture says: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

By his wounds we are healed! He covered our sin, hurt, injury and scars with his own wounds of love and grace. He died to save us.

Why does God allow such pain and brokenness in our lives? Paul suggests our brokenness perfects us. Paul writes: In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God’s power is made perfect in our weakness! How can this be? Our scars and hurts and hardships humble us, break our self-will, tear up the smooth fa├žade of our settled lives – then our weakness allows his power to shine in us.

In time, Christ heals us of our sinful, difficult, painful or traumatic experiences. Then in our weakness He empowers us to minister to others with similar trials. Our scars and disappointments and trials result in helping others and bring glory to God.

This is hard to believe while we are in the midst of a trial. Healing takes time. In the meanwhile we must cling to Jesus. We must trust him and cherish our difficulties/scars. Are you clinging to Jesus? Have you thanked Him for your scars?

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

Blessings, Dottie Parish



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