THE SCARS REMAIN
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
When I had my first affliction, the only pain relief I found to be effective was a heating pad. For hours on end, I would basically cook myself.
The area of my affected part is the right rib area, in my core, front and back. So, I have scars from the heating pad. More like a waffled grid pattern. It is a testimony to what I have endured and what God has brought me through. Those scars remain, even though it has been two years since my healing.
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9a
I can say that I begged more than three times. Probably three times thirty. And, do you know what? God never told me to stop. So, I didn’t. I kept storming the throne room with my requests and He kept listening. It helped me so much knowing I could run to the Father and find the grace I needed to keep going.
About a year before I was healed, I needed to find a solution to stabilize my core. One of the doctors I went to suggested I get a brace. So, I had a brace specially made for me. It looks like a clam shell that I would strap myself into. Before I even wore it for the first time, I wrote with a Sharpie pen the above verse. I wanted to be reminded that God’s power worked best in my weakness.
No one saw the verse because I wore clothing over the brace, but I knew it was there. A constant reminder of His plan in my life. Over those scars, I put a daily reminder of what God was asking me to do – believe in His Sovereignty in my life.
Was it easy? No. That brace was so cumbersome. I could not bend over at all. It was hard to take a breath. My clothes were stretched over it, and it made me look weird. It was an outward demonstration of the scars that only I could see – because my scars are underneath all of that. When I looked in the mirror as I was wearing the brace, I had to look away. My whole body was misshapen. At least with the scars, they were for my eyes only.
I find myself reminded of the scars that Jesus carries on His hands, feet and His head from the
crown of thorns, because of my sin. Our sin. Those scars remain. They will not be removed. In heaven, Jesus has those scars and we will recognize Him BECAUSE of those very scars. Remember how Thomas would not believe that Jesus had risen unless he put his finger in the very scars of Jesus’s hands? Good thing for those scars. Proof that Jesus died, sin was forgiven and He rose, the grave was conquered.
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9b
This is the remaining part of verse nine. And to me the most powerful. Did you know that we CAN boast about our weaknesses? The world says to hide behind them. Do not, for any reason, it says, display fear. Or inability. Or disease/illness. We are to buck up. Put our best foot forward. Keep a stiff upper lip. And on and on.
Let me say this. That gets old. I know. I lived it, and still do. I have got to admit my weaknesses. Not air dirty laundry, but admit that I do not have it all together, or that I cannot do it alone. Do you want to know why? I believe it is because when we are living day to day and still have joy in the midst of pain and suffering, people will want to know how we do it.
And guess what? We can share. And in that sharing we get to give God the glory. That is the reason for boasting. These scars are a reason to testify to the gospel.
But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God. Acts 20:24
I, too, can say with Paul, in confidence, that my life is to testify to the goodness of God’s grace. And, by living a life of suffering, He has deemed it possible for me to testify from a point of affliction. So be it. When someone asks me how I do it, I can point to Him. And then I can elaborate about His daily grace to see me through. I will not show my scars, but in my current state of affliction, I can show my feet, which are covered in KT tape. I do not have scars yet in my feet situation, just swelling and the accompanying tape. Well, the boots might be pretty obvious too. I cannot get around anywhere in the house without my family knowing where I am. One boot is loud, but two? Oh brother. No sneaking around for me. My family tells me to sit often, if they think I have been up too much, so off I go, and if I do not stop soon enough I am ratted out. Drats.
Since this is about scars, I would like to come to a conclusion. Hollywood says to do everything to remove scars. Plastic surgery has had a recent surge during this pandemic, since we are not seeing anyone, a perfect time to get made over. Even in the church, we are to put on a smile and keep on going. But, I am believing that we are to embrace the scars. Because they tell a story of where God has taken us. Like a road map. Every single time I look at my feet, or my scorched side, I know that God has been with me every step of the way. I bet if I were to ask someone if his/her scars tell a story, he/she could tell me, and I would love to hear them. Especially those stories of God’s grace.
Scars give us the opportunity to give God glory. Scars remain to remind us of where we have been. They may define us, or they may be just a reminder of what was. I know I am not the same person I was before the scars. (If you want to be blessed in your worship, listen to I Am They singing Scars HERE. ) I don’t really want to go back there anyway. I have come so far, that to go back would mean I would have to lose the growth that I have gained. Growth in faith, and hope. And learning about the word perseverance. That, my friend is a word of life-long learning, but the more I walk this road of suffering, the more I am beginning to understand a little about holding on and walking forward in faith.