Becky was my first serious crush. Serious meaning 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 had been in a violent automobile accident not too long before that. She said it had done serious damage to her face, and there were all kinds of scars. Well, I sure couldn't see any trace of them. I know that 13-year-old love is blind, but something had obviously happened to those scars. A plastic surgeon had very skillfully taken them and recreated something beautiful.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 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 is common to all of us - the pain of life.
Your pain might be medical or emotional, memories on replay, or something in living color right now, but these verses talk about what the master Plastic Surgeon can make out of the pain of your life. It says here that He turns our trouble into comfort for others. He is the God of all compassion and the God of all comfort. If you uncover your scars, hurts, and pain, He will give you something to give other people who are hurting. Because of God's skillful hands, the ugly can become something beautiful.
Maybe the pain of your life is never far away. Maybe you see scenes on the video replay unit in your mind or maybe it's happening right now. You don't have a choice about having the pain, but you do have two choices about what to do with the hurt.
First, you can turn it inward by replaying it and thinking about it. That is what most people do, and it turns into self-pity. This produces bitterness and negative attitudes, and only becomes uglier making the scars deeper.
The other option is to turn it outward in the form of sensitivity and compassion. 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, 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 not 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 really need to go over it again? Why don't you let Him turn self-focus into others-focus?
Look around you and find a need you can meet. 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.