Wednesday, June 4, 2014
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Becky was my first serious crush. Well, as serious as you can be when you're 13! I thought she was beautiful. That's why I was so surprised when she said she had been in a violent automobile accident not long before that. She said it had done very serious damage to her face; all kinds of scars. But when I looked at that beautiful face I couldn't see any trace of it. Something had obviously happened to those scars. She told me that a plastic surgeon had worked on those scars. He had very skillfully taken those 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." Now, 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, or emotional. Maybe it's some terrible memories in the past. Maybe it's something you constantly replay in your mind. Maybe it's in living color right now. But this passage talks about what the Master Plastic Surgeon can make out of the pain of your life.
It says here that He turns trouble for us into comfort for others. He's the God of all compassion. He's the God of all comfort, and if we will open up our scars and our hurt and our pain to him, what He does for us gives us something then to give to other people who are hurting the rest of our lives. In other words, the ugly can in God's skillful hands become something beautiful.
Maybe the pain of your life is never very far away. Maybe you can even see scenes on the replaying of your mind. Or maybe it's happening right now, and you don't have a choice about having the pain. But you do have two choices about what you do with that hurt. One is you can turn it inward. That's what most people do.
And when you turn it inward, you continue to work on it and replay it and think about it, and be tormented by it. It turns into very ugly things, like self-pity, bitterness, and negative attitudes. You just make the ugly uglier, and you make the scars deeper.
Your other possibility that's suggested in these verses from God's Word is that you can turn it outward, and this pain can be turned outward in the form of sensitivity and compassion. In other words you 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'll know how they feel. I'll be able to enter into their suffering. That's what You did when You came here, Jesus. You walked our trail so you could help us walk our trail. God of all compassion, instead of this turning into self-pity and hardness, Lord, turn it into compassion."
You know, the quickest way out of your pit is to help somebody else out of theirs. See, Christ alone can redeem life's big hurts. Why don't you let Him use all that junk to shape you into a make-a-difference person for other people? I mean, haven't you replayed those ugly scenes enough times? Do you really want 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. Right now, 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. Dr. Jesus makes scars into something beautiful.