Romans 3:23-26 KJV23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
When my brother and I were in grade school, we were playing outside one day. My dad had two piles in the backyard. One was a pile of sand and the other was a pile of dirt. My brother stood on top of the pile of dirt while I stood on the pile of sand and I taunted him to throw dirt clods at me. I was doing really good dodging, but Dad caught us and told us to stop. Dad left on his tractor and went up the road to a neighbor’s house, so we seized the chance to start our little game back up. I probably shouldn’t brag, but I was pretty awesome at dodging those dirt clods. Well, that was until one with a rock in it hit me in the head on the inside of my left eyebrow. I remember I had a handkerchief in my hand that I put up against my wound and it was filling up with blood as I was running around the house to go tell my mom. While running, I can remember my dad was on his way up the road from the neighbor's house. I distinctly, remember the look on his face when he seen all that blood. He jumped off his tractor and took off running towards me to make sure I was okay. While we both disobeyed Dad, I think my brother probably got more of a punishment than I did, but one thing that my brother didn’t get was a scar. It’s still there, although not quite as visible as it was when I was younger. I look at it many times and I think back on that day when we didn’t listen to Dad because we were so dead set on doing what we wanted. This morning was one of those days that I thought back on it. I began thinking of all my scars, not just physical, but also emotional and spiritual scars. I began thinking, Why would anyone want to love someone with so many ugly scars? Then a song popped in my head, “Free To Be Me” by Francesca Battistelli. A few of the lyrics are:
Sometimes I believe that I can do anythingYet other times I think I’ve got nothing good to bring
But You look at my heart and You tell me
That I’ve got all You seek
And it’s easy to believe
I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me
When I was in my early 20’s I thought I could do it all on my own, but like that song says, “On my own I’m so clumsy” and clumsy I was. I thought I could dodge the dirt clods the world was throwing at me and I did pretty good at the start, but by the time the game was over, I was left standing with open wounds. But that very moment I took off running for help, God saw I needed help and for every step I ran towards Him, He ran towards me too. I didn’t listen and I deserved to get hurt even though it could have been prevented, but God was right there the whole time, he doctored the wounds, let them heal, and left me with the scars. They may not be pretty and the world may look at me and see every little imperfection, but I see the healing power and grace of God.
As I sit here, I can look at myself and see that perfection does clearly seem to be an enemy of mine. I pray daily that God would help me be more like Christ. No one is perfect, we all fall short of the glory of God, but it is such a comfort knowing that God loves me for me. The same goes for the scars I have in my life. I might try to cover them up, so no one can see them because they make me feel unworthy or less beautiful, but God sees them and He loves me still. These scars are just marks, just reminders of lessons learned. Just like my brother and I learned that Dad was just looking out for us and didn’t want one of us to get hurt. If we had only listened, but we didn’t and I have that scar as a reminder that next time I need to listen. We have all been hurt in some way. Maybe we didn’t listen to God, maybe we didn’t do things the way He wanted us to and we ended up with open wounds. But He can heal those wounds and even though we may be left with a few unsightly scars, they are just a testimony of what God has done for us.
I tried to hide the painOf the open wound inside
I covered it up with a smile
Instead of a million loud cries
But when it became too much
I fell down on my knees
I bore the open gash
So only God could see
He stitched up the abrasion
Bandaged it up with His love
Wiped the tears from my eyes
Sent comfort from Heaven above
He gave me time to heal
Then removed the bandaid
He revealed something of a sore sight
A scar that with time seems to fade
I asked, “Lord, why must everyone see
Such an imperfection within me?”
He replied with a smile and said,
“My child, it just has to be.
So, you won’t forget what I have done.
And so everyone can see.
That they can be healed too.
If they will just seek me.
I realize scars may not be pretty.
And they may not be easy on the eyes.
But scars are the reminders
That you have become more wise.”
September 24, 2013