2020 has been a really tough year. I am sure you will agree that may be an understatement. The pandemic has left people sick, mourning, out of work, out of business and isolated. Racial unrest has plagued our nation and our political divide has reached new lows. We can try to focus on our blessings, trust God has a purpose for all this, and hope 2021 can only be better. Even so, there is no doubt 2020 is going to leave a scar.
We all have them. How did you get yours? Does it still hurt? I think there are several kinds of scars.
SCARS from lessons learned
That burn, that cut, that scrape, as a child you learned not to play with matches, be careful with scissors, and how to balance on your bike. At the time, these hurts were traumatic, painful. Perhaps the scars are now faded, and you have long forgotten the pain, but the indelible events were important lessons that served you well from that day forward.
SCARS of important evidence
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas would not believe without scars. It is interesting that Jesus did not admonish Thomas, just encouraged him to believe. Jesus scars were important proof of who Jesus is and how he was sacrificed for Thomas, for you, and for me. They remind us that his perfect sacrifice paid the debt for our sins once and for all.
1 Peter 2:24
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” I have a rather large ugly scar. If the surgeon had not saved my life I would complain about his sewing. As a 15-year-old I had a football injury and a near death experience. After the ambulance ride, the parade of tearful family and the meeting with the hospital chaplain, I made a lot of promises to God. I have broken most of those promises, but my long and crooked scar is a constant reminder, evidence that I was saved, and God spared me for a purpose. Am I living up to his calling? Serving his purpose? Worthy of being spared to walk the earth a little longer?
Is there a painful hurt in your past that is a constant reminder of God's grace and your purpose?
SCARS of correction and healing
Maybe you have got one of these on your knees, your hips, your shoulder. Maybe you have had your gall bladder, appendix or a cancer removed. The scar fades but never goes away. In the end, the pain is gone, and the cut was necessary to save or improve your life. You forget the pain and are thankful.
SCARS that just will not heal
Ever had a scar that just never seemed to heal? You began to wonder if it was infected? Ever have someone hurt you and you just cannot get over it? Ever have a deep regret about something you did or did not do? Ever have a painful thing happen to you that just wasn't fair and now you just can't move on? I've found that with these types of sores it's best to remove the bandage and let the healing properties of air and sunshine at the wound. Perhaps that is the best medicine for those psychological scars too. Perhaps we should uncover it rather than hide it deep inside. Maybe we need to forgive those that hurt us, talk to someone who can help us and of course bring our pain to God and let the Son-shine heal us. There is no doubt 2020 is going to leave a scar. It is just a question of what we learn from it, how we grow from it, and find our way forward to serve his purpose. We will have the scars to remind us. Let’s just not the hurt linger, or the lessons be lost.