Scars

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4

If you walk among the aspens, you’ll notice their scarred trunks. Many of the roundish blemishes are from branches that have fallen off, a natural part of the tree’s growth. Others, though, are more rugged. These irregularly shaped scars are usually the result of elk having chewed on the bark. Over time the wounds heal, but the scars remain as a testament of survival.

We all have scars. They are evidence of our past, and they make us unique. Our scars usually result from trauma – physical or emotional. For some it was abuse or neglect in childhood. Others of us carry scars from broken relationships, losses, accidents, illnesses, or threats. Many older people, looking back on their lives, acknowledge the pains they have endured, and still end up saying, “I wouldn’t change anything.” Why? Because they know they wouldn’t be the people they became over time without the events that sometimes wounded them.

We don’t have to be ashamed of our scars. They record our histories, they give evidence of our ability to survive, to heal. And they allow us to connect with those who recognize those scars as theirs, too.

Jesus was raised from the dead after a brutal crucifixion. He could have had any resurrection body he wanted, but he chose to keep his scars. They verified his identity to doubting disciples, and they still give evidence of his triumphant sacrifice for humankind.

Every scar we have represents pain that, by God’s grace, made us stronger, better, more like Christ. He didn’t hide his scars. We shouldn’t either.

Suffering is arguably God’s choicest tool in shaping the character of Christ in us. – Joni Eareckson Tada

Have You Told Anyone?

  • Has God ever answered one of your prayers in a way that changed your circumstances or your heart?
  • Has the Holy Spirit ever highlighted a passage of Scripture so you saw it in an entirely new way and that insight was just what you needed that day?
  • Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a mess and then realized God had been preparing you for this situation well in advance of its coming?

"Thank God. . . Tell the whole world who he is and what he's done! . ." - from 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 (MSG)

“Thank God. . . Tell the whole world who he is and what he’s done! . .” from 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 (MSG)

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions or others that may be similar, here’s the last question: Have you told anyone?

I am becoming convinced that our personal experience of God’s blessing is not just for us. It is meant to benefit others as well, but if we don’t tell them, they won’t know. Many times I feel cautious about sharing what God is teaching me or how He is leading or blessing me because I am afraid it will look like spiritual bragging and I don’t want to be seen as proud or overly pious.

Then I realized that keeping quiet about what He does for me is keeping Him from being glorified. And it may be keeping others from being blessed. So, let’s share with each other what God is doing in our lives. Your story may be just what someone else needs to hear today.

It is both exciting and humbling to be in relationship with the living God. It’s even better when we enjoy Him together!

“Humility means reveling in his grace, not our goodness.” – John Piper