The Scars of Life
Everyone has a scar. Whether it be a scar from a childhood fall or an old battle wound, we all have them. Some scars are more visible than others, whereas some scars are not. Some scars are intentional to mark a rite of passage into manhood, to indicate which tribe a person is from, or worn as a badge of honor. Some of the most painful scars of those that lie deep within a person’s soul that they don’t dare let out for fear of the pain it would cause. Whatever the origin of the scar, there always lies a story.
After trekking 3,000+ miles from Alaska crossing Canada and the United States this past summer, my son had his good share of mosquito bites from all the campgrounds we visited. Unfortunately, my son is the type of person who has allergic reactions to mosquito bites and as a result, there are welts and scars left behind. Many times I had to remind him to stop picking at the bites because they would leave a scar.
He said, “I like my scars because they remind me of my stories.” He was right. We may not always like the stories behind the scars, but they make up who we are.
Do you have scars? What story do your scars tell?
I will never forget a woman I met on an airplane ride on the way to a friend’s wedding. I sat next to her and her son–in which it was obvious they had both been in some type of accident that resulted in burns on their body. At the time, I was a nurse in a trauma/burn center so I had an idea of what burn victims went through. As the plane ride progressed I introduced myself to the woman that I was a nurse who worked with burn victims. She immediately seemed relieved when I told her who I was. I asked her, ‘do you mind telling me your story of what happened?’
Behind Every Scar Lies a Story.
Her story is unimaginable one that is a living nightmare. Her family was driving home when a person under the influence of narcotics crossed the center line of the highway and hit the driver’s side to driver’s side head-on. Her husband had been driving, she was in the passenger seat and their two sons were sitting in the back seat. The vehicle burst into flames immediately upon impact. Nearby witnesses rushed to the scene. Leslie and her son got themselves out of the vehicle. No one could even go close to the vehicle because of the flames. Leslie walked toward a Good Samaritan on the highway and asked, “please get my husband and my other son!” The Good Samaritan saw Leslie wearing a cross necklace and said to her, “ma’am they are in a better place.”
In an instant, she lost her husband and her son. Because of this man’s negligence, Leslie not only had to deal with multiple surgeries and heal from her burn wounds but also deal with the grief from the loss of her loved ones. My heart broke for Leslie as she told me her story. When we were about to exit the plane, I noticed Leslie had a little limp. I asked her, “Do you want me to get a wheelchair for you?” She said, “After all my hours of physical therapy, once I was able to get out of the wheelchair, I never had any intentions of getting back into it. I don’t care how long it takes me to get somewhere, I will never return to that wheelchair again.” Wow! Her response amazed me.
Leslie’s story reminds me of the man who was paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus approached the man and asked ‘Do you want to get well?’ At first, the paralyzed man doesn’t answer yes or no, he responded that he had no one to help him get into the healing pool.
“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked” (John 5:5-8)
Why do you think Jesus told the paralyzed man to pick up his mat first and then walk?
The mat, in this man’s story, represents a place of dysfunction which allowed him to lay paralyzed for 38 years. Jesus tells the man to pick up his mat, so he couldn’t revisit his place of dysfunction again. Jesus desired for the man to be fully healed not stay in a place of sickness. It was probably hard for this man to live his new life as a healed walking man. The only life this man knew for 38 years, was one of begging and lying paralyzed on his mat. But then Jesus came and changed everything not only for this man but for us as well.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed” Isaiah 53:5
Jesus desires for us to be healed wholeheartedly in Him–He was wounded for our transgressions. Our scars tell our story. When we hide behind our scars we omit God’s greater story.
How do you choose to present your scars? In shame and disgrace? Or to tell God’s story of restoration, healing, and grace?
Jesus came to heal the sick–he was bruised for our iniquities.
There is healing found in the wounds of Jesus--by his stripes, we are healed. Click To Tweet
“When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Mark 2:17).
Our scars remind us of God’s story of what He is able to do in our lives.
Not every scar is visible.
Do you carry around deep scars that lie within afraid to reveal your story?
Leslie told me she was glad her scars were outwardly visible. She said these scars were a reminder to others of the deep scars she had inside. The scars she had outside were nothing compared to the pain of the scars she carried around inside. I love how Leslie’s story progressed because she allowed for God’s love to progressively heal her. It wasn’t a quick and easy process, it has been a long hard journey and continues to be hard some days. If you can imagine she even came to the place of forgiveness to the man who took her family away from her. Her willingness to forgive and trust in God’s plan allowed for her to stand on the path to wholehearted healing and never live in that place of brokenness again.
How do you carry your scars? Do you allow for God’s greater story to be told?
Jesus has scars too.
The scars in life can be hard and painful. Nobody knows our scars better than Jesus because he has scars too. His scars tell the greatest story ever told–one of redemption, forgiveness, healing, love, restoration, and grace. There is healing in the scars of Jesus. He died for all of us–so we could be healed. In verse 53 of Isaiah “by his stripes we are healed,” the Greek word healed is sózó which is translated saved, healed or rescue. The origin of the word comes from safe or well. Jesus came so we could be saved, healed and rescued from our iniquities and pain!
You are loved, my friend! I pray you seek Jesus for your wholehearted healing. He has the power to heal, forgive and resurrect our circumstances into something greater!
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