DayBreaks for 7/25/14 – Medals of Honor
From the DayBreaks archive, 7/24/2004:
John 20:26-28 (NLT) Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “ My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Rev. 5:6 (NLT) I looked and I saw a Lamb that had been killed but was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that are sent out into every part of the earth.
Have you seen the commercials on television about a type of medicated bandage that can be put over a scar and which makes the scar less obvious? It’s fascinating, but I have to admit that every time I see that commercial I think, “So what?” Scars are part of life. And as a young boy (even as an older one now!), guys take a certain perverse pleasure in showing off their scars. Scars are like a badge of courage, a medal awarded for doing something brave and courageous (well, OK, maybe a bit foolish at times, too)! So, why would we care if our scars were made less obvious? (I realize that some disfigurement due to accident or disease is an entirely different matter!)
I love the passage in Revelation 5:6 that is quoted above. “I saw a Lamb that had been killed but was now standing…”. How would John have known the Lamb had been killed? I don’t know, but I figure it must have been because of the scars upon the body. Jesus showed his scars to Thomas – and they led to belief.
We, too, get scarred by life. Seriously scarred. Is there value to our scars? I should think so. Mark Buchanan, in Your God Is Too Safe, had this to say: “I don’t think that God, this side of the Jordan, ever completely removes our wounds. I have at times wished He would. I wish He would obliterate the past and remake it. Take this cup away from me. Spare me the wounds, and if not, spare me the scars from them, the deep ache in the flesh and the memory.
“But God has set this limit on His power. Not even He can remove the past. And the past comes bearing its wounds. What God does is better. He redeems the past and its wounds. I have not given or taken a single wound that has not made me wiser – slower to judge, more discerning, more forgiving, more open to forgiveness, more shrewd and yet more trusting. In fact, I have not given or taken a single wound through which I did not come to know Christ better and even, this is the amazing thing, become more like Him.
“The one way we recognize the risen Christ is by His scars. He wears them like medals of honor. And so they are.”
You don’t have to live long to collect scars – physical, emotional, spiritual. I look back at some of the scars I’ve “earned” through my rebellion – and they are deep and ugly scars. They bring back memories of failure and shame that I’d rather forget. But perhaps that is some of the value of scars – they remind us of what not to do again. And hopefully, we learn.
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the scars that come our way in life that teach us much. And thank You for the scars that Jesus, now glorified in heaven, wears on our behalf! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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