Greetings in the Lord,
Do you have any scars? I know that’s a pretty personal question…and, No, I do not want to see them! But scars are a vivid reminder of something in our life that was painful. Whether it was an appendectomy or an old football injury. We see those scars and think, “I remember that injury…I remember that surgery.” The injury has healed, but the scar remains. It’s a visible reminder to us and to others of something painful.
I was reading in the newest Christian Standard and the author Steve Wyatt writes, “The venerable apostle Paul was reminiscing about his ministry exploits in a letter to the believers at Galatia. He’s nearing the close of his letter when he suddenly states, rather matter of factly, ‘On my own body are scars that prove I belong to Christ Jesus’.” (Galatians 6:17)
But he doesn’t elaborate…He doesn’t say “Man, those rocks left some nasty reminders of the pain at Lystra, I got this one from the snakebite at Malta, these are from the lashes and rods put to my back in Rome.” He’s not looking for pity. He just wants us to know…”I’ve got some scars.” And he connects those scars to the cross of Jesus Christ. He wears them as a badge of testimony for ministry.
I do not know all the scars in your life, and many of them are not visible. For many of us the most intense scars are not the remains of surgery, but deeper cuts in our hearts that no one can see. And here’s the 64,000 dollar question when it comes to scars: Do we allow those scars to be a vivid reminder of the healing power of God, or are we just looking for pity?” Joni Erickson Tada took the scars of being a quadriplegic and turned them into a ministry concerning God’s power in her weakness. John Walsh took the scars of an abducted and murdered son and turned them into a campaign to protect other abused and neglected children. Corrie Ten Boom took the scars of the Holocaust and turned them into a ministry of forgiveness and grace. If we choose one path concerning our scars the injury never really heals, but if we choose the same path as Jesus, the apostle Paul, and the above mentioned, not only does the injury heal, but the scars that remain become object lessons of grace.
I might not know a lot about medical procedures and biology, but I know a little about scars, both the ones that are visible and the ones that are not. And it is my prayer that these scars will be a reminder that “His power is made perfect in my weakness.” And that the scars will make me a better minister to those who are also scared by life. So here is my challenge. Will you, like Jesus, allow the scars in your life to be used for the glory of the Father? Will you allow those scars to be used for healing or pity? It might be the most important decision you ever make in your life!
Reaching for the Nail Printed Hands,