We all have them – scars both visible and invisible. These are the scars we accumulate as we go through life. They are inevitable. They are irrevocable. They remind us of things that perhaps we would rather forget. But our scars tell our stories for better or for worse. Scars are good storytellers because they always tell the truth. Scars don’t lie.
I confess – I have my fair share of scars. Everyone does. I feel like my invisible scars far outnumber my visible ones, however. I’m guessing most people feel this way. The wounds we carry within ourselves, the scars on our hearts and minds and souls cut deep and cause much pain. We humans are the “walking wounded” for sure.
Those who have served our country in the military certainly live with many scars, both external and internal. We see their sacrifice on our behalf when we behold their missing arms or legs or see them in wheelchairs. But the deeper battle scars they carry inside themselves, in their hearts and minds and souls, are not known to others because they are hidden from view. Being invisible, however, doesn’t diminish the damage the enemy did, leaving a scar in his wake as a permanent reminder of the battle.
So we are each walking through this life battle scarred and battle weary. No wonder the words, “be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about”, are such good advice. Each one of us is fighting many battles, battles against enemies both visible and invisible. (I wrote last about fighting “the invisible enemy”) The invisible enemy of our souls leaves the most deadly, albeit invisible, scars. We have such a hard time understanding each other. It doesn’t help that we can’t see each others’ scars. We all long for someone to understand our scars, to understand us. And there is such a person! Hebrews 4:14-16 tells me this,
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Jesus understands and accepts you and me, with all of our scars. Turns out, Jesus accumulated plenty of scars Himself during His time here on earth. Isaiah 53:4-6 tells us about His scars, saying about Jesus,
“Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Our scars tell our stories. Jesus’s scars tell the greatest story ever told. It is a love story, a story of the best kind of love – true, eternal and self-sacrificing. It is a story of rebellion, redemption, rescue, reconciliation, forgiveness and everlasting life. We call this story the Gospel or the Good news. A story foretold from the beginning of time, this Gospel story continues to be told and retold century after century. Jesus’s nail scarred hands and feet, His thorn scarred brow and His whip lashed back will continue to tell His story eloquently for eternity.
What about you and me and our scars? Philippians 3:20-21 tells me that –
“our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”
The words of a favorite hymn say it best – “Crown Him the Lord of love; behold His hands and side, those wounds, yet visible above, In beauty glorified.”
Those scars that Jesus bears from His crucifixion, will still be telling their true story of forgiveness, redemption, salvation and eternal life when we meet Him face to face. We will recognize Him by His scars and Jesus will know us by ours, because He already knows your story and my story, complete with every scar we carry. Jesus’s sword pierced side and nail pierced hands and feet are His battle scars. These are the scars by which you and I are healed.
Oh, dear readers, we will carry our battle scars with us into heaven because they tell our true stories. In Jesus’s presence, our scars will be made beautiful. They will no longer be sources of pain and sorrow, but reminders and evidences of God’s protection and deliverance during every battle we ever fought against our enemies, both visible and invisible.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
sincerely, Grace Day