While cuddling one morning with my daughter, Jen, in our oversized chair, she noticed the scar on my face for the first time. I’ll never forget her response.
“Mom, I wish I was hurt instead of you!”
Five months earlier, our family was in a tragic car accident, and Jen suffered a traumatic brain injury along with cortical blindness. Jen was in a coma for five weeks and had to relearn how to walk, talk, read, write, and even swallow. She had no idea she had come within minutes of losing her life.
I couldn’t hold back the tears streaming down my face as I looked at Jen whose body was covered in wounds and scars. “Oh, honey, I’m the one who worries about you.”
She continued to struggle with her memory as she began to heal, but the one thing Jen never forgot was her relationship with Jesus. She joyfully praised God and talked to Him constantly out loud in spite of all she’d lost. She would never return to cheerleading, soccer, or even get a driver’s license. As a mom, my heart was breaking. I was mourning all of Jen’s losses, but she was content with nothing but Jesus.
As the next year unfolded, God continued healing Jen, and she became more aware of her scars. She didn’t like the scars and would ask me tons of questions about them.
One day I responded, “Jen, we don’t have scars, we have beauty marks. Our beauty marks help tell our story and shout to the world that God is faithful and healing us every day.”
It’s practically impossible to pass through life without wounds. Even if you don’t have physical scars, we all have emotional scars that are wounds in our hearts. In this world you will have trouble. Jesus said that. Jesus knows. He has the scars to prove it on His hands and feet. But Jesus had soul wounds too. Betrayed by friends. Abandoned by His family. Despised and rejected by religious leaders. Forgotten. Forsaken. Falsely Accused.
Yet, when Jesus appeared to His followers after dying on the cross, one of the first things He did was to show them His scars.
“Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself!” Jesus says in Luke 24:39.
Because I’m a woman with scars, I have to ask this question: Why does Jesus, the Son of God, still have scars?
I mean, He is God Almighty in a resurrected, glorified body. I don’t know about you, but I was kind of hoping to get rid of all of these scars when I get my new body in Heaven!
I think Jesus chose to keep His scars. He wanted to remind us we are loved, we are not alone, and we were worth every pain and piercing.
“He was pierced for our transgressions…and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Are you faced with doubt, fear, or discouragement? Do you feel unworthy or unloved? Look at His hands! Look at His feet! Jesus’ scars are shouts of victory. Symbols of triumph. Statements of His unending love. Proof we can be healed.
Jesus kept His scars. They prove He was victorious; you can be too!
He faced everything that threatens to hurt you—sorrow, sin, and death. Jesus conquered them all. His love for you is written all over His body in scars He didn’t erase. Jesus chose not to minimize, revise, or cover them. His scars remind you that every time you doubt, fear, hurt—you can be healed!
Look at His hands. Look at His feet. You are permanently engraved there.
God allowed His Son Jesus to die on the cross to show us that no hurt or wound is so great it can’t be redeemed, healed, and made whole. The cross is a message of salvation and hope. Jesus came to give us abundant life. He can redeem everything that the enemy tried to steal from us.
There were many days when I questioned, “Does God love me? Has He been good to my family?” It was on those days that I would crawl up in the big oversized chair in my family room and picture that I was crawling up into the lap of my Heavenly Father, my Daddy. I would just weep while He cradled me in His everlasting arms and whispered to my heart, “My child, nothing can separate you from my love.”
If you have been through something painful, it doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you. It means He has something far greater on the other side. Your pain has a purpose. God brings beauty from ashes when we allow Him to use what we have been through for His glory. Often our wounds change our destiny and God gives us a ministry to help others.
Your wounds may still hurt, but when you use them to help others that is when they become beautiful. God delights in turning scars into beauty marks.
Linda Barrick’s greatest joy is being a wife and a mom. She has learned to treasure every moment as a precious gift from God. She is author of Miracle for Jen and Total Bliss: Discover True Joy in Philippians Bible study. Linda is an inspirational speaker and founder of Hope Out Loud, a ministry that provides hope and encouragement to hurting people and families all over the world. She leads a weekly Bible study of over 500 women at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA, where she lives with her husband Andy of 27 years and their two children Jennifer and Joshua. God is using their miraculous story to change thousands of lives with a message of faith, hope, and forgiveness. Linda’s passion is to share the gospel and disciple women to fall more in love with Jesus. Connect with her at hopeoutloud.com
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