There are some things we’ve been spending a lot of time with recently in my home. In the last eight weeks, our whole lives have been entirely up-ended, turned upside down, wrung out, crushed and left alone. It has felt like being left alone to drown in a pool of your own blood.
I’m not being dramatic about that. This has felt like we’ve been gutted and left for dead. I refuse to pretty this up and smooth it over. What has occurred in our lives as a family has been utterly devastating. We have suffered emotionally, physically and spiritually. And that suffering has come at the hands of people who claim to follow Jesus, religious people.
There’s a thing about pain that you may not know that I’m learning. I mean, I kind of knew this before. It’s not like this is the first time in my life I’ve experienced pain. But what pain and loss and betrayal and abandonment have taught me is that it changes you.
When you sit in the pain, it changes you.
It changes how you sleep, how you get out of bed, how you relate to your spouse and your children, how you feel about yourself…and the list goes on. Pain is foggy. What I mean by that is that it confuses things. You can’t see clearly, think clearly. It’s hard to have clarity and focus when the waves of pain seem to crash over you endlessly. When this is what’s going on in your life and those waves are crashing over you, it feels like it’s always high tide.
When you sit in the pain, it changes you.
We’ve been seeing a counselor recently. I remember the days when I used to think that people who went to counseling were weak or soft or whatever. Now, I’m of the firm opinion that counseling is so beneficial in some situations that you’re a fool if you don’t find someone who can give you a listening ear and give good, godly counsel. So I’m not ashamed to say we’ve been seeing a counselor.
In one of our sessions something came up that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. I remember saying to the counselor something like, “They say time heals all wounds.” He laughed and said, “That’s bullshit.”
And I was so grateful to him for saying that. ‘Cause that’s what I was thinking. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. You just get used to living with it. Then he started talking about Jesus. And something stuck in my heart and now I wanna talk about it with you.
In John’s gospel, in chapter 20, we find a remarkable story. Verses 19-29 contain this story. I won’t quote the whole thing here; go read it for yourself. Do that right now, go read John 20:19-29. Look at verse 20 for a second. Now read verses 24-27.
Let’s talk about this for a minute. Our counselor brought this out a bit when he said that if he had been Jesus, he’d have been resurrected with a perfect body. No nail holes or a giant gaping hole in his side.
But that’s exactly how Jesus was known to his disciples. They knew he had really been raised because he was standing there right in front of them with holes in his hands, feet and side. Can you imagine this for a second?! Surely they thought they were seeing a ghost. But no, Jesus was like, “Nope, I’m really real guys. Thomas, put your finger through this hole in my hand. Stick your hand in my side. It’s really me.”
Do you think Thomas had the stones to actually stick his finger into Jesus’ hands and sides? I’m not sure if I’d have wanted to hug Jesus or run away. So what?
Here’s my point. Jesus has scars. He still carries the marks of betrayal and beating and arrest and execution, all at the hands and the will of the religious people of the day. Why? Why would Jesus still have holes in him?
Because his scars matter.
Your scars matter.
My scars matter.
Our scars matter because they draw us closer to Jesus. In his scars we see that all our suffering and all our pain matters to Jesus. He has been there. He has gone before us. His scars show the depth of his love for us. Don’t hide your scars, brothers and sisters. He can redeem those and use them for your good and his glory if you’ll let him.
Don’t hide your scars, brothers and sisters. They make you look like Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Would love to talk w you.
Praying for you and your family brother. Thanks for sharing this. I can only describe it as both heart-breaking and convicting. It was something that I needed to hear through this time in my family's life. Thank you again.
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