If you read this post, you will know that I very stupidly accelerated over a hump on my bike and had an awful wreck, resulting in 22 stitches above my right eye. But what you probably don’t know is that my scar is virtually invisible. In fact, the only time I notice my old injury is when I tweeze my eyebrows!
Somehow Dr. Yates did a splendid job with his plastic surgery, putting my eyebrow back together with a very minimum of scarring. Which is good – my eyebrow is right on my face! No one wants a large scar on their face, if they can help it.
Of course, scars are Not Pretty.
They’re so ugly in fact that people will spend many billions of dollars a year on cosmetics, some of which is to cover up scars. We use concealer, foundation, and – get this – *Primer* before the concealer to make sure our scars don’t show.
But in God’s sight, there’s nothing more beautiful than scars or even stretch marks created through the giving of life to another person.
God is a Creator. He fashioned the world with His Words, made man out of the dust of the earth, created woman from a rib, and breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life. In His Infinite Wisdom, He granted to the woman the ability to partner with His in the Creation of Life, and Eve became the Mother of All Living.
Now, we know nothing about any of her pregnancies, labors, or deliveries, but because she had a perfectly created body, I doubt she had scars or stretch marks. Me? I have all of it! Far from having a perfect body, I tear every single time I deliver a baby, create stretch marks on top of stretch marks, and will for the rest of my life bear the 10-centimeter vertical scar from the one caesarian I had.
Pregnancy and childbearing are full of hardships, trouble, and trials. But the result is TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Here is the principle: LIFE SPRINGS FROM DEATH
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
One earthly example of this principle is the seasons. The bright colored fall leaves give way to death of winter. All is covered with the snow of frozen silence…until the first bud of spring appears, and life pushes up from the earth, filling the world with the beauty and fragrance of spring.
Another example is the pain of childbirth. The labor contractions are preparation for the inevitable death of dignity and calm – until the baby’s first cry sounds, and life is brought into the world.
Still another example is the Cross of Calvary. The thorny crown and painful whip led the way to two rough timbers and cold sharp nails, and Jesus allowed Himself to be subjected to the indignity of a painful, naked death….to bring us new life.
THESE SCARS ARE BEAUTIFUL.
After Jesus’ resurrection, when He appeared to Thomas, He showed him His Hands and His Side. Thomas responded, gazing at the scars made just for him, “My Lord, and My God!”
DEATH IS REQUIRED FOR NEW LIFE.
A missionary lady named Ruth Stull once said, “If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.”
I read a story once about a young girl who was embarrassed when her friends came to visit because of her mother’s hands. Her mom’s hands were horribly twisted and disfigured, and the little girl was somewhat ashamed of them.
As she grew older, however, she discovered what had happened to disfigure her mother’s hands. It had taken place when the young girl was just a baby and her pajamas had caught fire. The dear mother was horrified to see the flames leaping up her daughter’s pajamas, and quickly smothered the fire with her own hands, burning them badly in the process. When the girl heard this, her mother’s disfigured hands took on a great beauty. They were no longer a cause of shame – they were a sign of her mother’s love and sacrifice.
When Jesus rose from the dead, “He showed them His hands.” He was proving who he was, of course, but more, He was teaching them what He had done.
And further still, He was sharing with them why He had done it.
Paul said “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17) He was probably talking about the scars from various acts of torture that he had went through. But what about us? What are the marks of our love for Jesus? Where are the signs of our affection and devotion toward Him? In what way has our life changed?
So don’t fret over the hardships. Don’t chafe because you have scars or stretch marks. Be thankful that God is using you to bring LIFE to someone.
Do not fret over the sufferings of life, the trials of financial struggles, physical limitations, or just unfair “stuff.” God is using them to bring LIFE to someone.
Someone is watching you, to see how you do this thing called Life. If they see joy and peace, they will want what you have.
How can your hard times be an encouragement to someone else? Has there ever been a time when someone told you, “I thank God for you. You’ve been a real example to me of Christ.”