Recently the kids and I were recounting stories of our various medical mishaps: Jacob fell at the park and had to get stitches on his chin, Petra fell in her room and had to get stitches on her face, and I tripped on our front steps and broke my hand.
Other than the immense pain we all endured, do you know what made each of these stories the same? The laughter. That’s right – laughter. The lacerations, the blood, and the sheer terror made us laugh because we remembered how the injuries happened:
Jacob wanted to see if he could hang like a monkey from the high bars (he couldn't). Petra decided climb a step stool and hurl herself onto her bed for some unknown, gravity-defying reason. I broke my hand because as I was falling I curled my fingers around my $1 keychain to “protect it” from the impact. Good news: the keychain was completely intact.
Not all of my past mishaps make me laugh, though. Not everything can be fixed with just a few stitches. And not all of my scars are visible.
What about your mishaps? Do you have scars from the past? Or maybe your hurt is so fresh, so new, that it hasn’t even yet turned into a scar – you just have a painful wound and are still waiting for the healing. One of the things I know to be true is that the wounds we suffer will eventually become scars, and those scars will become stories.
For many years I think my stories just rehashed the offence. I used the scars as scorecards for the times when people or circumstances had let me down. When things didn’t go as I planned or when God had seemingly abandoned me. I could remember the injury far more clearly than I could recall the resolution, and I was quick to point out how bad things had been for me.
Since then I have learned that the scars I bear are God’s way of reminding me of where He found me. They tell me how He brought me out of the pit and set me on a high place. True, some of my scars bring to mind my own folly but mostly they tell me that God loves me and He alone is my Deliverer.
My scars can also bring that same story to those around me who are hurting. My scars can tell them the story of a God who gives grace, peace and strength to those who press into Him in times of trials. God can use the scars of my past pain to demonstrate the hope that is found in Christ Jesus. As one author has said, "The wounds of the past meet ministry in the present and redemption in the future."
What kind of story will your scars tell? I hope they will remind you how God has brought you safely through your circumstances, and that they encourage you to share that with others. Let your scars tell the story of a faithful God who has met all of your needs and kept every promise according to His Word.
Candi Thorpe, Administration