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Archive for September 12th, 2019

When we live and breathe and experience life we all experience injuries, bruises and trauma. These leave us with scars … some that leave a mark on our skin, some on our minds or hearts.

Probably the oldest scar I have, which is barely visible, is from when I fell into the corner of a door, gashing my head just beside my eye. My mother is always amazed at how it is almost invisible, for the injury was so deep.

There are other scars that are more recent, more visible. A couple of years ago, while trimming branches on a tree with a reciprocating saw, the hot blade lay, just for seconds, on my arm and it burned into my skin. The freckles are just starting to darken this almost two inch area, still very visible.

Then there are the invisible scars. The ones that leave no physical mark, yet they scar, altering other areas of my life … my mind, my habits, my thoughts.

Scars can be like the stones that God told Joshua to have the Israelites bring up out of the Jordan River, after God opened it up so that they could cross through the middle of it. God said to have one man from each of the twelve tribes carry a stone on his shoulders to the place where they would sleep that night (I am hearing Annie Lennox singing “Sweet Dreams are made of this”).

“They will be a sign among you. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these rocks mean?’ Tell them the water stopped flowing in the Jordan when the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord crossed the river. These rocks will always remind the Israelites of this.” Joshua 4:6-7

I love the thought that scars could be reminders of the depths of pain that we have gone through, by the grace of God. Reminders that we did not go through the waters alone, but that God was always with us. Memorials to our faith in God, when that is all we had left.

Scars are the evidence that we survived.

Sure, they remind us of pain, and sadness, and hurt. They take us back to a time of tears, of prayers beginning with “why, God?” But they also remind us that that pain is finished, that, by the strength of God in the midst of our human weakness, we are still here, we survived.

Like those stones from the river Jordan, our scars can provide opportunity for us to tell our children of the faithfulness of God during painful seasons in our lives … the telling gives good for the bad, blessing for the curse, redemption for the pain.

“Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes
Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to You
And these wounds are a story You’ll use
So I’m thankful for the scars”

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