Living with the Scars
Paul wrote; "But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me,'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness,' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 6-10 (NRSV)
Muriella Alexander, from Maharashtra, India, relates that whenever her life takes a rough turn, she often dwells not only on the current source of her frustration but also challenges what she has faced in the past. During one of those difficult times, the lines from a song about how we have to live with our scars came to mind. Muriella thought to herself, "I have so many scars already!"
At that moment, God reminded her of something she learned in an immunology class. Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process. An injury does not become a scar until the wound has completely healed. If a scar is forming, the wound is healing.
Muriella understood that she could choose to view her scars either as reminders of the hurt she had experienced or as reminders of how God had stepped into situations of brokenness and destruction and set her on the path of healing, igniting hope in a situation of despair.
Muriella could look at her scars and remember either the pain and sorrow or the faithfulness and unchanging love of God who has the power to redeem and renew, transform and restore. Like Muriella, we have a choice also; we can dwell on our past pain and sorrow or we can choose to center on God who has the power to heal, especially when we choose to forgive, as He has forgiven us.
Prayer: Jesus, our Wounded Healer, remind us that you understand our suffering and have the power to make us new. Help us to forgive and heal our scars, for we ask these things in Your name, amen.