A Greater Purpose in Scars

"What happened to Your hands?"

I grew up in a two-story frame home with a wooden staircase comprised of fourteen steps from top to bottom. I counted them with every trip up and down from the time I learned to count, to the day we moved from the house years later. In time, I had mastered the steps by taking two, even three steps at a time. 

The quickest I ever traveled the steps, however, was around the age of four, when a satin Barbie blanket (which I left on step #2) provided an unexpected rapid descent down the stairs…head first. It was then I discovered a loose nail with my forehead on step #8. 

I know…right?  Ouch!

To this day, I bear the scar at my hairline reminding me of my painful plunge down the stairs over 45 years ago. 

Through the years, I’ve had other scars which over time have healed nicely; some from injuries, others from surgeries. Some bear no noticeable scar at all, while others leave only a trace reminder. Some however, will always be physically visible, due likely to the size and depth of the wound. 

And isn’t that the way it is with the emotional wounds of our past. Some wounds we scarcely recall, others leave trace memories, still others—the deepest wounds—leave the most prominent and sometimes obvious scars.  

Early in my faith journey, while still cutting my spiritual teeth, I wondered, “When God delivers us from sin, why does He not “erase” all the memories of our sin, as well as the wounds of our past”.

Have you wondered that as well? 

Have you ever considered that even though God raised His Son from the dead; He did not remove the scars left by His scourging and crucifixion? Why is that? 

Perhaps because there is meant to be a greater purpose in scars. 

For Timothy, the scars in Jesus’ hands and side were a testimony to the earlier events (John 20:27). To His disciples, Jesus’ scars were proof that He was who He proclaimed Himself to be. (John 4:25, 26) They were a reminder of His humanity, as well as His divinity. 

God used Jesus’ scars to speak to His disciples; He wants to use our scars to speak to others today. 
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Cor. 1:3-5) 
The scars of our past remind us of where we have been, and of the God who loved us too much to leave us there. They are allowed to remain as a testimony to others that the God who raised Christ from the dead, is the One who raised us from spiritual death to a new life in Christ. They are proof of His healing in our lives, that He bound up our wounds and healed our broken heart. (Ps. 147:3) And what He did for us in our pain, He can and will do for others who bear similar scars. 
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.”(Matt. 11:28) 
Scars reveal our humanity, but are not meant to be all about us or the pain we've endured. Instead, as God has healed you, (Isaiah 53:5) permit Him to use your scars in the process of leading others to Him for their healing. The pain of our past should sensitize us to those whose wounds are fresh and all too familiar. We know the lingo. We interpret their body language. We recognize the red flags. And we should....we’ve been there. 

So, let us lay aside our tendencies to hide our scars. God intends to use the scars of our past as a ministry to someone else. Ask Him for opportunities to share with others what He has done in you; ask for wisdom and courage in sharing it, and then to lead you to that individual who needs to hear the story behind your scars.

Would you please share your thoughts with me? 

Are you comfortable sharing your scars with others? If not, ask God for even greater and deeper healing, allowing Him to use your scars for His glory.