Saturday, April 27, 2019

My Scars Tell A Story

We all have a story to tell.  You know… you were born and then what?  What’s YOUR story?  Did you know that every story is different?  Not one is like another.  Each story is sprinkled with a mixture of good and bad times spanning the course of our lifetime.  I bet if I took a survey today I would find one thing that each of our stories has in common.  

I’m sure we have all experienced pain in one way or another in our lives... whether it was in our past or currently in the present.  It’s a part of our story.

Did you know that God wants to redeem every part of our story?
(Past, Present, and Future)

 Let me explain.  No matter what season we are facing in our faith walk, God wants us to continue to surrender our lives to Him...  when it’s easy and “in the midst of” the struggle!

There WILL be struggles!  If you haven’t faced them yet, you will!  I’m sorry to surprise you.  When they come, what will we do?  How will we respond? Will we CONTINUE to trust Him with our everything or give up all together?

Think about it… How have you responded in the past when you faced unexpected circumstances or situations? 
I have found that when I surrender “my struggle” to God…
(Whatever it is at the time), that He ALWAYS leverages it for good.

 What I mean is that… Something that may seem “bad” in my life, when placed in the hands of God, always ends up having an unexpected outcome of good. 

 That’s where the redeeming my story part comes in to play.  I have struggled with an autoimmune disease for almost 13 years now.  It is a disease that weakens my muscles.  At its worst I was bedridden for up to a year and lost 75 lbs in 4 months.  At its best I was able to complete a 5K walk… which is a big deal for those who struggle with muscle issues!  I’ve had lots of ups and downs, good seasons and bad, flare ups and remissions, but God has been faithful all the way through.

My husband said this recently at a worship service we had with our young adults and it totally caught me off guard… 
“It’s sometimes our SCARS that draw people to Jesus the most!”

In that moment the Holy Spirit hit me with the realization that one of my “SCARS” is my sickness.  I cannot even begin to count the number of people God has touched as a result of it.  People identify with my struggle and it opens doors for me to share God’s love with others freely.

Scars – Whether visible to the eye or hidden from others are something we all have in common.   I’m sure we have all experienced some kind of pain (whether physically or emotionally) at some point in our lives.

My husband could entertain you for hours with stories about the variety of scars he carries on his body… you would hear about barns, chickens, pitch forks, surgeries, horses, and the like.  I have scars too.  My most recent scar involves an altercation I had with a new kind of curling iron I was attempting to use on my hair.  Needless to say, we have decided to part ways.  My wrist has an unforgivable mark to remind me to this day.

                  “The good thing about scars is that if they heal up 
properly, they don’t hurt anymore.  They may look 
really bad, but the pain is all gone.”

I bet a lot of us have scars on the outside, but how many of us have scars on the INSIDE that others can’t see?  It could be scars of abandonment, betrayal, fear, rejection, or low-self esteem.  Or it could be scars of addictions, bad choices, broken relationships, or grief.  These kinds of scars are more personal and private.  They aren’t the kind of things we share with everyone.

I have experienced scars like this too.  SCARS… of miscarriage, rejection, cutting words that hurt deeply, broken relationships and the like.

My scars tell a story.  They are a reminder to me that God heals on the inside and out.

What stories do your scars tell?  Who have you had the opportunity to minister to as a result of them?

“Scars in a sense are past hurts that tell a story.  When we surrender
our lives to God, our scars will amazingly point people to Jesus!”

Jesus had scars too.  He faced excruciating pain on the cross… the nails in His hands and feet.  I can’t even imagine! 

Think about the Easter story… Jesus was raised from the dead (experiencing the ultimate healing) yet He still walked away with scars!  The power of death was conquered, but the SCARS remained.  God didn’t take them away!  They were not erased!  Why not? 

Jesus scars tell the story of salvation.  They are scars of HOPE!!!!
They are a reminder to us that healing is possible.   He understands pain and He cares.  He loves us!  Through Him we can find life and He promises to be with us through everything!  We are not alone!

Romans 5:8 says…
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)

John 3:16 says…
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” (GNT)

My scars tell a story.  It’s a story of salvation, deliverance, freedom, life changing moments with Him, healing, and His faithfulness.  He has redeemed my past and present scars over and over again for good!  His scars tell a story that changed my life!

Where are you at in your story?  Have you surrendered your scars to Him or do you have open wounds that still need healing? 

Maybe you need to start with salvation… surrendering your everything to God and thanking Him for the precious gift He sent in Jesus to save you and bring life!

If that’s you or you need to recommit your life to God now, tell Him.  Talk to Him like you would your best friend and lay it all out before Him… the good, bad, and ugly.  Ask Him to wash you clean and come be Lord of your life.

My scars tell a story, His scars tell a story, what story will your scars tell?

“Scars in a sense are past hurts that tell a story.  When we surrender
our lives to God, our scars will amazingly point people to Jesus!”

God, thank you for the gift you gave in sending your son to die for me.  I can’t even imagine the pain He went through to make a way for me to experience true life and that abundantly.  Today I surrender my life to you… ugly scars and all.  I pray you would leverage them all for good to draw people to You.  Please redeem my story (past and present) for good.  I pray my story will inspire others to pursue you more.  Thank you that I’m never alone.  You are forever faithful and all over my story.  I love you forever.  Amen.