In last weeks blog I wrote about the power of scars in our lives. Unredeemed scars can paralyze you from purpose, calling, and connection with others. Redeemed scars, now marked with the truth of God’s Word, are beautiful and can be a testimony that propels you to greatness and sets someone else free!
Scars are the place in our life where pain has left a permanent mark. This mark can be in our memories, emotions, or even physically. Unless we deal with the scars in our life properly they compromise us, and cause us to not see the Lord clearly, or walk confidently in His ways. This week I’d like to dive in deeper and share my heart regarding emotional health and the great importance of placing Jesus in the center of your pain.
My wife had a bone spur in her left femur when she was a teenager. To this day she has a noticeable scar from the incision. Although it has been many years since her surgery, the scar is still sensitive to the touch. Sometimes I’ll tease her and pretend like I’m going to touch the scar, even though my intention is to only get near it. I always get a pretty great reaction out of her when I do this! Yes, I am that guy who will obnoxiously freak her out just to see what she’ll do. I do have a mischievous side, incase you were wondering!
We all have different reactions to scars. Some are sensitive to the touch. Some are sensitive because of the trauma. Often times we do everything we can to cover up our scars. We do this not only for cosmetic reasons, but because scars can be a constant reminder of pain and the message it speaks to you. What an incredible thing when God speaks an entirely new message into our scars!
I shared candidly with you in last week’s post about the hurt I have experienced as a pastor. If you haven’t read my testimony from “Beautiful Scars: Part 1” I encourage you to go back and do so. Though the Lord has led me through a process of healing and mending from the wounding I experienced, there are still times I am sensitive to the touch, so to speak. This is natural when you have been wounded. I don’t know about you, but I am personally so thankful that I, a son of the most High God, do not have to live in fear of constant hurt and remain in a place of rejection. Even when I react emotionally, I can immediately lean in to the grace and love of God which grounds me in the truth of who I am – loved, accepted, and victorious!
A message of redemption and restoration can take a painful scar and turn it into a message of victory!
Unhealthy emotions hinder believers. Without redeemed pain, we can become limited in our emotional capacity to understand and/or trust God. You will only grow to the level of your unhealed scars. You may learn more, you may experience more, you may do more, but you won’t grow more.
Our emotions limit us more than any other area. I have personally witnessed people receive salvation, faithfully grow in Christ, and develop into leaders. Then, over and over again, I have witnesses many hit a wall and stop growing. Sadly, some revert completely to their former way of life. So, why do some people keep growing and others hit a wall? It has to do with surrender. When we come up against an emotional wall, the only way through it is through the Redeemer Himself. We must allow the Lord access to the area of brokenness and pain in our lives.
In every relationship pain is the greatest enemy of growth, and the greatest opportunity for growth.
When you grow through your pain you grow deeper than ever before. Something happens in your life. You mature. Pain is one of the greatest threats to growth, yet it and can also be one of the most powerful igniters to greater things. In life you are going to experience hurt at the hand of others. I have had to deal with the fact that there are people that don’t like me or like what I do. Despite that, I have made a personal choice to grow deeper in the Lord through my own healing process, and not pull back from Him.
Nobody can surrender for you. It must be done of your own free will.
I’d like to give you a few take-away’s that I pray will help you in your journey of healing.
1. You are loved and valued. Though others may not at times see your worth and value, God says about you that you are worth everything! The key to believing this and receiving His life and healing means that you must silence other voices that are not of God.
2. Learn to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself above the name of Jesus.
Strongholds are wrong thoughts entrenched in scars. They are built up over time. A high thing is a thought that has taken God’s place in our lives. Literally, it has exalted itself against the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Lordship means that Jesus is Lord over every area of your life, not only a select few.
3. Redeemed pain is powerful. Your pain does not overwhelm Jesus. The ugliness of your scars does not repulse Him. Your situation does not scare Him. What has happened to you, or what you may have done, does not cause Him to love you any less. My strongest encouragement to you is to allow the love and life of Jesus to become the message in your scars. Don’t close the door of your heart to God. It is only in and through Him that our scars become beautiful. When God redeems pain it is one of the most powerful testimonies.
4. Make Jesus Lord over your pain. When Jesus touches pain it doesn’t get worse, it goes away. He can’t touch it unless He is Lord over it. Stunted growth in the Kingdom of God typically has to do with Lordship. He is not only your Savior; He is your Lord. Lordship is different than salvation in that Jesus has given us salvation, and in return we give up lordship of our own lives and He becomes Lord over everything! Often times Jesus is not Lord over people’s pain. Don't let that person be you! Choose today to make Him Lord.
Above all, I deeply desire for you to be empowered to speak the Word, the message of Jesus Christ, over your scars. Let Jesus, who still bears scars on His body to this day; make your scars beautiful through His redemptive power and love!