It is a fact of life; we really do need each other. Yet, in that need, we will all wound one another. Living life together creates wounding. Some of our most painful wounds have been inflicted by those we are closest to. And some of the deepest wounds we have caused have been to those we love the most. Because of our deep love, we have deep emotion. Much of the time, we respond to wounding by running away, hiding and licking our wounds. At other times we lash out in self-defense, often times inflicting even deeper wounds. Sometimes, we even isolate ourselves from those who could potentially help us to work through our wounding. We long for someone to bandage our wounds. However, there are times when the bandage needs to be ripped off allowing the wound to completely heal so we will not remain a “victim” for the rest of our lives. Our wounds can be used to propel us into greater life journeys or can keep us completely immobilized. And we all carry battle scars!
Visiting with my sister recently, she shared a devotional writing she had put together for her bible study group. Her devotion centered on scars. It fits quite well with my thoughts about wounds.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about scars. God knows I have plenty of those on my body these days. The older I get the more I have! I don’t know too many people who like scars. They can be unattractive or painful, and more often than not, I look for ways to hide them from others, even though I know they’re there. How does Jesus really view my scars and even use them in my life?
Nearly always when I look at my scars, it takes me back to a place in time when they occurred. Like falling off my bike in 5th grade and fracturing my kneecap, or having moles removed from my face that would be hard to completely cover with makeup. Or what about the scar from my two C-sections in the shape of a happy face, but resulting in two beautiful daughters who years later would become my best friends? And then there is the scar on my scalp from the removal of a tumor that turned out to be lymphoma. I’m actually pretty thankful for that scar because it alerted the doctors to the fact that I had another cancer lurking in my bone marrow, which I am still being treated for today. Yes, I’ve had my share of scars, but it’s a rare person that doesn’t bear some scars on their body from living in this world.
And then there are the invisible scars; the emotional scars that we can more easily hide from others. These can be the more difficult scars to heal such as depression, anxiety, abuse, neglect, sorrow, loss, etc. We may have no clue what kind of pain someone may be dealing with in their lives, and it may take months or even years to heal from some of these scars. I believe 1 Peter1:6-7 gives a clear picture of scars or trials in our lives. “This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Sharon Jaynes states in her book, Our Scars are Beautiful to God, “God has great purposes in our trials. Trials are not random acts meant to make us miserable or to destroy us. They are meant to refine us and make us strong.” When he sees my scars or trials and how I have allowed him to use them to trust him more, those same scars are beautiful to Him!
I do believe God has a purpose for my scars, whether inward or outward. Like Sharon said, he doesn’t cause them but He uses them in my life to mold me into His very likeness. After all, Jesus too had scars–the scars on his hands and feet as they nailed him to the cross, and the deeper scars of having His people and ultimately his own Father, turn their backs on Him, on the cross. Chris Tomlin, in His song God of Calvary, expresses the message of Isaiah 53:5. “By His wounds I am set free; by His blood I’ve been redeemed; The great divide He crossed for me; Oh, praise the God of Calvary.” And so, I will have scars because Jesus had scars. And His scars were for me.
What Jesus Suffered
My pastor said something to me when he saw the scar on my hand that I thought was quite profound. He said that the scar on my hand should remind me in this life of what Jesus went through for me. However, when we all get to heaven, Jesus will be the only one who retains his scars. They are there to remind us forever of his great love and sacrifice for us!
I love the song, Flawless, by Mercy Me, and the message it conveys:
“No matter the bumps, no matter the bruises,
No matter the scars, still the truth is
The cross has made, the cross has made you flawless.
No matter the hurt or how deep the wound is,
No matter the pain, still the truth is
The cross has made, the cross has made you flawless.”
What a wonderful thought that is! Jesus will one day make all of our scars disappear. All our pain will be completely healed. He will make us perfect and beautiful, both inside and out! How I look forward to that day. Until then I must allow Him to use my bumps, bruises, scars and wounds to bring Him glory on this earth. I must trust that they are being used to mold me and make me into a beautiful person, inside and out. One who trusts Him with all aspects of her life, and is willing to be vulnerable; encouraging others who may have similar scars and wounds. My scars are beautiful to God because He loves me more than I can ever imagine or understand and He desires that I share that love with others!”— Claudia Daggett