“Hey mom, remember when I got this scar?” said Billy pointing to his knee. “Yes, I remember you fell off your bike,” replied his mom. “Yeah, and I had to get 8 stitches! Boy, I won’t forget that, ever! I’m never going to ride a bike again!”
How many scars do you have?
Can you look at them and remember exactly how you got each one?
Associated with each scar is a memory. Like the one on your knee from falling off your bike. (I’ve got one of those!) Or how about the scar from climbing over a fence or having your appendix removed?
Ouch! Some of the scars are still fresh including the memory of the event. As time has passed, other scars and memories have gradually faded. What about scars like Billy’s? Yes, sometimes we have scars like his where the physical scar has faded but not the memory.
How about the memories?
Just like we have physical scars, sometimes memories leave us with scars of the heart.
With each memory of an event that created hurt from broken promises, crushed hopes, faded dreams and rejection, a scar was left on our heart. Some of them like abuse and broken trust have left bigger scars than others.
Without proper treatment our physical wounds take a long time to heal, and may leave a brighter, larger and more jagged scar. Without proper treatment, the scars of the heart do the same. These are the scars that Jesus wants to heal, (Luke 4:18).
We will still have the memory of the event, but because Jesus loves us,
He wants to heal all of the pain and sorrow it caused.
Surely, He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4a, 5
What do we do to be healed?
1. Recognize the scars.
Are all of your scars healed? If you are not sure, ask the Lord. He is gentle and will reveal what He knows you are ready to hear.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.
For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10
What God reveals, He wants to heal. Why else would He tell you about them?
2. Release your scars to the Lord.
Our loving God waits with open arms to take the burden of your scars.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11: 28 (NIV)
It’s not always easy but forgive anyone whom you feel has caused the scar, including yourself.
Remember the scripture says love your neighbor as yourself, not love your neighbor more than yourself, (Matthew 22:39). So, forgive others and if you blame yourself, don’t forget to forgive yourself.
What if you blame God for not protecting you? God in His great love for us did not cause these scaring experiences. However, God can use them to grow our faith and make us stronger.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
4. Be thankful.
How can God expect us to be thankful for something awful?
We may have to dig around a little bit to find it, but there is usually a blessing somewhere. Perhaps we can be thankful that God can use it for good. Maybe we can be thankful that God rescued us. There might be something of value that we have learned. Or we can be thankful simply out of obedience.
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Even if we don’t see anything to be thankful for now, keep looking. In time, God will reveal something.
Can scars impact our faith?
Unfortunately, yes. If we have a bad scar from falling off our bike, like Billie, we may not trust our abilities to ride a bike again. Billy sure didn’t! Then, there are the deeper scars left from something like abuse. As a result, we may not fully trust others fearing that we would repeat the experience.
How about broken promises, crushed hopes and faded dreams?
We may attribute some or all of these scaring experiences to God’s failure and hesitate to trust Him. How can we have a deep faith in someone we don’t fully trust?
Like a break in the smoothness of our skin, these scars create a break in our relationships.
They affect our faith in God, others and even in ourselves.
Our loving God wants us to be victorious. He wants to heal the scars of our heart.
I have had many scars. Scars from divorce, illness, broken trust and many other events.
It was a process to heal. I had to continually forgive. Sometimes I thought I had completely forgiven, but when talking about an event I would hear bitterness in my voice. Then God would gently nudge me to forgive again. I had to give thanks when there didn’t seem to be anything to be thankful about.
In faith, I believed that one day when reminders arose, I would feel completely at peace. For those scars of the past, God has been faithful to heal me in His abounding mercy and love. He has even used those scars to grow my faith, help me and help others.
In this crazy world, there may be other scars that come. But, in faith, I trust that if they come, He will heal me once again. Just like the song “SCARS”1 expresses, I am thankful for the scars.
Do you have a scar that needs to be healed? Is it impacting your faith in God?
Heavenly Father, as I write Matthew 11:28 and say it aloud, I release the burden of the scars of my heart to you. Please help me to forgive and grow my faith in You. Help me to be thankful and see how You have used it for good. In Jesus name, Amen.
IN FAITH, RELEASE YOUR SCARS TO THE LORD
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Thanks so much!
May your day be filled with love and laughter!
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1 “SCARS” recorded by I AM
Bike photo by Flow Clark, unsplash
Child photo by Edi Libedinsky, unsplash
Band aid photo by Diana Polekhina, unsplash