Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Becky was my first serious crush. "Serious" meant I thought she was beautiful. At least, that's what my 13-year-old eyes told me, and that's why I was so surprised when she said she'd been in a violent automobile accident not long before that. I just moved into town, and I didn't know anything about the accident. She said it had done very serious damage to her face and there were all kinds of scars. Well, I didn't see any trace of it. I know that 13-year-old love is blind, but obviously, something had happened to those scars. Actually, a plastic surgeon had taken care of those scars, and he must have been good. He had very skillfully taken scars and recreated something beautiful.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beautiful Scars."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Here's what the apostle Paul says: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." These verses are about something that's common to all of us - the pain of life. I don't know where your pain comes from - whether it's medical, emotional, memories of your past, something on replay, or something in living color going on right now, but these verses talk about what the Master Plastic Surgeon can make out of the pain of your life.
It says here He turns trouble for us into comfort for others. He's the God of all compassion. He's the God of all comfort. If we open up our scars, and our hurt and our pain to Him for the rest of our lives, He gives us something to give other people who are hurting. In other words, in God's skillful hands, the ugly can become something beautiful.
Maybe the pain of your life is never very far away. Maybe you see scenes on the video replay unit in your mind, and maybe it's happening right now. Maybe you don't have a choice about having the pain, but you do have two choices about what you do with that hurt. First, you can turn it inward. That's what most people do. When you turn it inward and you continue to work on it, and replay it and think about it, it turns into self-pity, and then bitterness and negative attitudes. The ugly becomes uglier. You make the scars deeper.
The other possibility that's really suggested in these verses from God's Word is that you can turn it outward. This pain can be turned outward in the form of sensitivity and compassion for other hurting people. You can say, "Lord, I want you to help me make something beautiful out of this pain. I had to go through it. It was ugly stuff, but I want it to become a ministry to other hurting people. I know how they feel. I am able to enter into their suffering. God of all compassion, instead of this turning into self-pity and hardness, would you turn it into compassion?"
The quickest way out of your pit is to help somebody else out of theirs. Christ alone can redeem life's big hurts. Why don't you let Him use it to shape you into a "make a difference" person for other people? Haven't you replayed those ugly scenes enough times? Do you have to go over it again?
Why don't you let Him turn self-focus into others focus? Look around you. Find a need and meet it. Instead of looking in the mirror at your scars, why don't you surrender yourself to the emotional rebuilding of the Master Surgeon? Let Him start changing you from someone who feels like a victim to someone who is beginning to be a victor. Doctor Jesus makes scars into something beautiful.