Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. – 1 Corinthians 1:3-5
I’ve got a chicken pox scar on my right forearm, just below my elbow. I was about six when the ailment visited Third Street. All of the kids in the neighborhood ended up getting them. Better early than late.
I have other scars too. Right next to my right knuckle I acquired a beauty while riding my new ten speed bike. I never rode over a garden hose again. Then there is the scar on my right shin, making it’s debut when I accidentally stepped into a hole that held a sprinkler head. Ouch. These injuries are vivid and memorable, not something I would choose to revisit, but definitely a part of my story. I think about the scars I incurred later in life, such as surgical scars … and let’s not forget the team of emotional scars I’ve picked up along the way.
I once read that if a wound does not properly heal, that it will never turn into a scar. It stays open, bloody, painful and sore. When it comes to our emotional wounds, they can stick around for decades if they haven’t been properly cared for. It is not easy dressing some of those wounds. Nobody likes to hurt, but pain is a part of the healing process. In order to get past some of the garbage, we often times have to wade knee deep through it.
While some of the emotional wounds of my past make their way to the surface every now and then, bringing what feels like an incurable ache, if I take those hurts to God He promises to have a remedy. As painful as each of those circumstances were, I would not change them for the world. They are a part of who I am, a part of my story. And by God’s grace, I can use my scars to help somebody else who is suffering the same kind of injury. This is ministry at its purest.
What kind of scars do you hold? Do you loath them, or have you learned to embrace the ugly things?
God’s work in the world is so much greater than anything we can wrap our minds around. The scars on Jesus’ hands and feet tell us a lot about pain.