‘Scars show us where we have been. They do not indicate where we are going’. ~ Edward Allen Bernero.
Nearly every part of the skin on his body had been used for grafts, but an area on his shoulder still looked suitable for another one. The surgeon decided to use it. Full thickness burns make a mess of the body’s largest organ, the skin.
After eighteen years, Matthew is now having more operations to deal with the scar tissue that the burns had left from his accident when he was three years old. As he grew, his skin grafts didn’t grow with him. Scar tissue’s like the boss of the area where it sits, hard and ruthless. Now it was time to deal with it.
Last week, as I thought about our dear grandson in the operating theatre with the plastic surgeons, I prayed for them all. Matt had said to me, ‘God will be there’. What a comfort to know the Lord was watching over him and guiding the hands of the surgeons: one working on his twisted tear ducts, the other on his left hand.
I’ve been thinking about scars this week. Since then, Matt’s had another operation to deal with some on his neck; they were pulling his ear out of place. He still has more surgery before Christmas. What a brave young man! And he never complains.
These events have made me think about the way injuries affect our lives. We’re sometimes exposed to sad events: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. They damage us and often leave us disfigured. Some scars aren’t easy to hide. Others are unobtrusive, but painful. What’s the best way to deal with them, I wondered?
I knew the answer would be in the treasure trove of God’s wisdom: the words he’s given us. They may be in the form of stories or proverbs. Words of advice can also be found in the experiences of God’s people. We’re wise if we let him apply his solutions to our pain. And the Holy Spirit will be there to remind us of the words that Jesus said, and the things he did. We just have to ask him!
There was a time in my own life when I couldn’t dislodge the grief and condemnation that was hanging on like a misplaced sinew. Fortunately another Christian told me about the perfect answer in the Bible. It reads like this: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. At first, I couldn’t ‘see’ it because I’d formed an intractable thinking-habit. But I was desperate for release, and suddenly…I understood!
God’s clear words mean there’s nothing I can do that will condemn me when Jesus has died to take away all the sinful things I’ve done. Imagined or real sins, Jesus dealt with them all! I immediately knew for sure that the tight-gripping ‘scar’ was dissolved forever! No longer did I have to let it pull at me and distort my God-given peace.
I love those same reassuring words in The Message version of the Bible.
With the arrival of Jesus, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those of us who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us, no longer have to live under a continuous low-lying black cloud.
And it goes on to say: A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fateful lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death – Romans 8: 1-2.
What a wonderful solution to free us from the effects of every scar!