We all have scars. Some are physical, some are emotional, and some are both. However and wherever you got yours, the things that caused them no doubt hurt. Scars are often unsightly too. It is rare to have a scar that’s pretty to look at. The ones that are not seen (emotional) often take the longest to heal. So what are the redeeming features of your scars? How can they actually be useful to you and others?
I recently heard a message from the late Adrian Rodgers who asked when it was that Thomas believed. Do you remember? It was when he saw the scars on Jesus (John 20:26-28)! Your scars make you believable. Your scars make you authentic. Your scars have power in that they help others believe in the One who comforted you and helped you overcome and press on in spite of your trials and tribulations.
Not long ago I had the privilege of seeing Steven Curtis Chapman in concert at the Ryman Auditorium. You may remember that he and his family suffered a great tragedy when his teenager was backing an SUV out of the driveway and ran over his 5-year old daughter killing her. It was a very emotional and powerful moment as he stood there on stage about a year later talking about it at the concert.
A man-centered gospel is often preached and acted out these days. It goes something like this: “Come to Jesus and your life will be great. He will give you everything you ever wanted. Health, wealth, prosperity, and success will be yours. He will fix all your problems and usher you into a life of ease—heaven on earth!” If that was the gospel, that’s what Jesus would have preached. But He didn’t (Luke 9:23; John 15:20, 16:33).
For all our attempts to get people to believe, nothing works like the stuff we often try to hide. Show me someone who is a Christian who is joyful and well-adjusted but who has never really had to experience any trials or tribulations and I will yawn. How nice for them. But it does nothing at all to inspire me or encourage me or help me relate to them or make me believe what they believe. That’s just the truth.
On the other hand, when I see someone who has gone through various trials and tribulations and yet still has joy and still follows God…now that is inspiring indeed! It’s easy to have faith when all is well just like it’s easy to love those who love you. But when we know a person’s faith has been tested, then we know it’s authentic. Your scars might be exactly what someone else needs to see in order to believe.