“….after you have suffered a little while, the Lord will restore…..” 1 Peter 5:10
Now for the rest of the story…..
The Lord began to speak to my heart early Thursday morning- LAST Thursday morning that is. Just after midnight, I experienced tightness in my chest as I went to bed. I followed the protocol: aspirin and two nitro with no relief. So I woke Monty and we left right away for the hospital.
As we would learn, it is all a bit complicated and something that I have quietly battled off and on for two years. But praise be to God that we have answers for future direction and that my friend is answered prayer.
This particular Thursday morning, we were to leave for work with MRO in Watkins Glen. As the Lord would have it, I was exactly where I was preordained to be that morning. By 7:30am, all of the tests were starting. Echo, bloodwork, nuclear stress test, etc….. A long and arduous day but one filled with so many opportunities for faith conversations. While it was no walk in the park as they tried to figure out what to do first, I knew such peace. Truly, the peace that passes understanding. The Lord covered me with such mercy and every caregiver that I had was kind, compassionate and gracious.
By the end of the day on Thursday, three souls would all in some way share in each other’s woundedness, never in total, but enough to faithfully carry another’s burden. Hearts and bodies war-torn who bear scars, brokenness, healing, challenges and all still battling right now in some way.
Throughout the day I went over every story and conversation. Three separate storylines alongside of mine that connected us heart to heart. And the thread of gratitude that bound our hearts, was all about Jesus- healer, comforter, provider, way-maker, messiah, our peace….They were there to serve me but we all cared for each other. And oh how I carry them with me close in prayer daily.
We all bear wounds and scars in this life. Some seen. Some unseen. Physical. Spiritual. Mental. But my heart kept beating with the rhythm of “by His wounds we are healed”.
Just so you know, my physical heart is diseased but the Lord continues to protect me from damage and they smile when they say- you have a very strong “little” heart.
Truly the only part of this story that really matters is God’s great love for us in sending His son Jesus to carry the burden of sin mankind inherited after the fall.
He was wounded for our transgressions.
He was bruised for our iniquities.
When I consider HIS scars and HIS woundedness, nothing we will ever experience in the way of suffering this side of heaven can compare to the scars/wounds that Jesus endured so that we could have a relationship with Him.
The following are words that I wrote throughout the day on Thursday and Friday until they transferred me to Concord. I simply share the following as a way of reminder of so great a love and the agony He endured for our salvation.
After His resurrection, after the piercing and the crushing, after death gave way to glorious life, Jesus appeared to the disciples. I don’t know about you, but when I imagine a perfected body, I don’t picture scars, wounds, or bruises. But Scripture doesn’t say Jesus showed up with perfect skin and perfect hair and a perfect smile. No, Scripture says that in response to their fear and doubt, Jesus shows them His . . . wounds.
“Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
Luke 24:38-40 (NLT)
We don’t know exactly what Jesus’s resurrected body looks like, but Scripture is clear on this: Jesus still has scars. It’s His wounds that show it’s truly Him, His scars that the disciple Thomas wanted to see (John 20:19-29).
I wonder if one day we’ll lean in close to see for ourselves, only to find His still-scarred hands reaching out for us.
I wonder if we’ll look for a wound and discover the scar is in the shape of our very own name, inscribed forever on His palm (Isaiah 49:16).
(I wonder if I’ll cry at the sight, and chances are good since I’m crying now just writing this sentence.)
Perhaps it’s worth saying:
Scars are signs of survival, a mark of a cutting open that didn’t end in brokenness but in healing. Your scars show what you’ve been through, yes, but they also show that you made it through. You’re still here.
If Jesus didn’t leave His scars behind, if He chose to keep them for the rest of all time, maybe we can choose to see our own as something beautiful instead of something to wish away. I’m talking about the ones we bare on our bodies and the ones that can’t be seen on our skin.
I’m not advocating that we all walk around showing everything to everyone or sharing every part of our story with complete strangers.
But maybe we could simply say “thank You” next time we look in the mirror. Maybe next time something that bruised us deeply is bumped by words or actions or the date on the calendar, we could bring our hurt to the One who truly understands. Maybe we could begin by asking the Healer to help us see our scars through His eyes.
Precious one. You are loved and cherished by our Lord. Nothing is too difficult. Like Paul and the other disciples, we must keep fighting the good fight. Keep the faith. Everything we do, no matter how hard, doing it all in the name of Jesus and for His sake.
Need a friend? Need to say it out loud and wrangle through it? I promise to be there.