Scars have purpose. . .
They really do.
Scars remind us of where we’ve been and of God’s faithfulness.
They are gifts of proof that God redeems our struggles, despair, and pain.
We are in the week after the greatest miracle that ever happened–Jesus’ resurrection. He conquered death, defeated the grave, and triumphed over the Enemy. It is finished. And yet, there’s more to come. Isn’t that a lovely thought?
The Hope for our Scars
After dawn on Easter, Jesus walked, talked, and broke bread with his disciples. He was whole–no longer the beaten and crucified Savior covered in blood and anguish. Radiant. Splendid. His disciples didn’t recognize him. He spoke to Mary and she knew. He broke bread with the two disciples and they knew. And then, he appeared to a group of disciples and they thought he was a ghost, until he showed them his scars. And then, they knew.
His scars. He still had his scars on his hands and feet. Isn’t it remarkable that Jesus, who rose from the dead with a body broken and beaten, kept his scars. These (along with eating fish) proved to the disciples that he was in fact standing before them, real and true. He kept his scars.
The Word of God
“While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. If is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have'” (Luke 24:36-39).
Sometimes I don’t want the ragged scars that criss-crosse my life. I don’t want the reminders of the pain, sorrow, agony, and doubt. But if Jesus left his scars for a purpose, then my scars have purpose too. And so do yours.
Your scars are a map of how faithful God has been to redeem your circumstances. They can remind you that you found refuge in God. He was your rock when the ground gave way. He fought your battles when you couldn’t fight another day. He enabled you to stand firm when you didn’t think you could.
You grew and matured. You learned things about yourself and God. These are some of the purposes of your scars. But there’s another reason too. They serve as a testimony to others for encouragement and comfort and as a reminder that if God can bring you through, then he can bring them through too.
Thank you for my journey. These scars tell a story of your work in my life. And I am grateful. I am grateful I didn’t walk alone. I am grateful that these scars prove that you were near and guided me through. I give you glory for all that you have done. You redeemed my life from the pit. You turned my mourning into dancing. You gave me new mercies every morning. And when the night lasted a long time, you were there, in the dark, comforting me. I praise you Jesus!
In your name,
May the Lord show you his purpose in your pain.