The Purpose of Scars

Many times I am asked, “Does the pain ever stop? Do the scars ever go away?” I can tell you that truly the pain does stop, but the scars remain.

Several years ago I had emergency surgery right after one of our conventions. I had a ruptured hernia that trapped part of my small intestine. Today I still have the scar from the surgery, but the pain is totally gone. I was looking at that scar the other day and wondering, what is the purpose of a scar?

When Jesus heals us He could take away the scar as well. In some cases, maybe that has happened, but most of the time the scar remains. Whether it be a physical healing or an emotional one, long after the pain is gone the scar is still there.

As I was thinking about this the words of the song came back to me “His nail-scarred hands…”. Even Jesus bears for all eternity the scars left behind by the nails. That immediately made me think of Thomas when he doubted that Jesus was alive. Jesus said to him, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Jesus’ scars provided proof to Thomas that He indeed had risen from the dead.

As I have pondered this issue of scars, I have come to some conclusions. I think scars are like markers – they are there to remind us not of the pain but of the victory

Jesus didn’t show Thomas His scars to remind him of the cross. He showed them to Thomas to prove to him of the victory of His resurrection. So we have a choice. We can either look at scars and remember the pain or we can look at scars and be reminded of the victory.

When I look at the scar from my surgery, I remember all the ways the Lord was with me that day. I am reminded of how His hand orchestrated the day and brought me to just the right place at the right time. I remember how bad the pain was, but I remember even more how wonderful it was to wake from surgery and realize the pain was gone. Thank God for all He provided that day to bring about my total healing!

One night all of our family was sitting together after dinner and for some reason all our kids started talking about the different scars they had acquired during childhood. One by one they pointed to them and shared what had happened to cause them. Then their spouses joined in with their stories. As we listened to their conversation I was taken back to those days gone by and  all those injuries. I remembered the blood and the tears and the seemingly endless band aids we went through. Yet now they were all laughing as they went over each of those traumas. The pain was gone, the wounds had healed, and now the scars were just a visual testimony to that healing.

Emotional injuries are the same. They leave scars in our lives, but those scars can become testimonies to our faithful Lord if we permit them. Lord, may we allow You to heal our wounds so that one day our scars become testimonies to Your greatness! Love, Marilyn

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 137:3