In the women’s Bible study on Psalm 23 in a certain passage, it talks about scars, and where Thomas would not believe that Jesus was back resurrected until he put his fingers in the scars on His hands, and then His side. In the lesson we were taught that our scars have purpose. My question is how can our scars that we hide? How can that help me to help someone?
Here’s the truth, our lives are testimonies. We are also called to be witnesses. On Sunday my husband mentioned the sound mind the Lord gave to the mad man of Gadara. This is a huge testimony considering how far off he was before that. After he was delivered he was so grateful to the Lord that he wanted to go with him but the Lord told him to go back and testify (Luke 8:26-39). This man was living naked in the tombs possessed by demons. Consider how hard that would be to share with others after you’d been delivered. Most of us might actually struggle with a sense of embarrassment if we were in his shoes.
Look at Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Although God doesn’t ever do things to scar us, as we purpose to follow Him, He’ll even work those scars out for the good.
Scars are interesting. When I was a small child just about preschool age (maybe 3) my mom had taken me on a long walk in Jamestown where I grew up and she let me out of my stroller for a bit so I could walk myself. At some point I tripped over an uneven sidewalk and cut the whole palm of my little hand on a piece of broken glass. My mom put me in the stroller and rushed me home (about 2 miles) and she was crying all the way because the cut was so bad. When we got to my neighbor’s house they wondered what had happened to me and my mom tried to show them, but my hand was completely healed. To this day I can see the scar, though it takes up a lot less space on my hand. God could have healed even that scar (and sometimes cuts and traumas don’t even cause scars) but He didn’t remove the scar. Now, if I hadn’t had that scar I couldn’t prove what I had experienced. And that, even coming from an atheist family no one ever really could explain how it happened. (I know now.)
Some things we go through will change us for the better, or for the worse if we let them, and some things are meant to change others along the way. Some scars don’t need talked about but should be put on the shelf in case the Lord has you share them. Some scars are too awesome not to share. Some things we’ll testify of in detail and others will be less specific and that’s ok. Look at Acts 1:8, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” I think it’s more important to let the Lord know you’re willing to be a witness to His glory as He sees fit. When it’s God and we go humbly to Him, He’ll let us know what and when to speak. He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us.
My husband has a huge scar, I mean basically his whole arm is a scar now. This came from an event that would change the course of his life and one that spiraled him into the darkest years of his life, but those dark years are now part of the testimony of what the Lord has helped him to overcome. Sometimes when our sin is so noticeable or when our brokenness was so evident, it proves the power and glory of God all the more. This is why my husband and I have decided to Pastor as more open books, not being ashamed of the things we’ve gone through and the areas we’ve failed, or still fail at. If people thought we were made from spare angel parts they wouldn’t take our words as seriously or really they might not be able to see what was possible with God. It helps to know that others have gone through things and failed and gotten up and that you’re not alone. Sharing our scars from a place of overcoming victory is what the lost or hurting need to see. Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Even Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses (and scars) and that should give us and others reassurance.