“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;” (Isaiah 49:16).
Most of us have some physical scars that we feel are unattractive. I recently marked the 10-year anniversary of my thyroid cancer and was looking at my scar.
After thinking back over my life since then, I look at the scar differently. Instead of seeing something unattractive connected with suffering, it reminds me of all the lessons God has taught me, and I am very thankful I am not the same person that I was before that scar.
We tend to think of scars in negative terms. We are unhappy about how they look and they may be reminders of circumstances we would rather forget. But in our relationship with God those things are not necessarily negative.
Before my thyroid cancer my identity was based on works and my own strength. Those were wrong attitudes that needed to be replaced with godly thinking. The pain, anxiety, and mental breakdown I experienced forced me to look to God alone for my strength. My thyroid scar is a reminder that God is doing new things in me. My gall bladder surgery scar reminds me of how thankful I am for my daughter, since pregnancy caused the problem. I have other scars from various accidents which are reminders of God’s protection over my life.
We may carry emotional scars as well as physical ones, but God shows Himself in those as well. The pain may always be with us in this life, but that same pain keeps us continually looking to Christ to help us readjust our thoughts and emotions.
Scripture says that when Jesus appeared after His resurrection, He still had the nail scars from His crucifixion. In eternity our scars will be gone, but it appears that His will remain as a sign of His great love and sacrifice for us.
When I look at my outward scars or deal with ongoing emotional ones, I am reminded of what they symbolize in my relationship with Christ. I think of His nail-scarred hands. And I know that scars can be beautiful.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me see my scars as representations of Your presence and protection in my life. And I thank you for Your willingness to be scarred for me. Amen.
About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, eye pain, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at http://www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.
In this song, “Beautiful Scars” Steven Curtis Chapman sings about scars and how they really do make us beautiful! Just as the scars on Jesus’ hands remind us of what He suffered and the gift that came from it, everlasting life, our scars are also signs of hidden gifts. -Lisa