Almost 5 weeks past open heart surgery, God is leading me to new places. Reminders of old truths and new realizations combine to give me hope, strength and a passion for the next phases of life and ministry.
It seems every time I get a little frustrated or down, God shows up! Since my surgery, one thing I hated doing was taking a shower. In the first two weeks, it was just plain work. I would shower and then need to lay down and rest a bit afterward. But that wasn’t the hard part. The hardest part was the mirror. When I removed my clothes and stood in front of the mirror, there were incisions, stitches, tape and bruises. They covered my chest, stomach and left leg. It was a big reminder of what my body had gone through and how my life was going to change (I actually didn’t want life-change, my life was pretty darn good).
But things were different. I am a heart patient (the rest of my life). My Adonis-like body was gone (okay, that’s a joke, it disappeared a long time ago). The truth is, those scars were disheartening. They made me sad. But this week is different!
Last Sunday, God spoke truth to me through my own words and the words of a friend. They combined to give me a picture which gives me great joy! I was standing in the rear of the church sanctuary before the service and Tim Blackburn (pastor and friend), came by. He greeted me. And in the greeting, he said something about God loving me. And I said, “I know God loves me, I’ve got the scars to prove it.” Without missing a beat, Tim retorted, “So does He.” Wow!
It is true that my scars are proof that God loved me by intervening. He stepped in, provided people, resources, wisdom and time – to get me through a crisis. But that wasn’t the first time He did that! He did it on the cross. He has scars of love too! Remember, after the resurrection, He showed his scars to Thomas? He ascended to heaven with those scars. And I believe He has them to this day! As He looks at them, He is reminded of His love for us (okay, I know He doesn’t need to be reminded).
The truth is, you can’t come through this life without scars. Whether they are emotional, spiritual or physical. And so often, they are all three. But every scar is reminder that God carried us through painful times of need and has brought, or will bring us to a place of hope, joy, and rest in His love.
Pray with me: God thank you for your Son. And Jesus, thank you for the scars that remind me of your rescuing love. And thank you that when I see my scars I can remember your scars that persistently proclaim your love for ones as unlovable as me. You have saved me. You continue to save me. And on the day I see you and your scars, I will be made new because of the work you did.