The Unexpected Truth about Scars from your Past

Play episode

I was chatting with someone the other day and they were talking about some of the awful things that happened in their past and wishing that people would stop talking about it because they just wished they could leave it behind them and start the next chapter.

And that made me think of one of the most famous children’s book series of all time – Harry Potter.

If you’re one of the three people on the planet who haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books, the central character – Harry Potter has a lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead that he obtained as an infant on the night both of his parents were killed.

Although he’s grown up in relative obscurity in the human world, in the wizarding world EVERYBODY knows who he is – so when Harry starts school in the wizarding world he suddenly realizes how famous he really is.

Now Harry is pretty ordinary to look at, but his scar is instantly recognizable.

Harry’s scar opened doors, it created an audience. It made him famous.

Everyone wanted to know him, to shake his hand, to be his friend – even Draco Malfoy, who quickly turned into Harry’s arch-nemesis at school.

It also attracted the attention of dark forces.

And it wasn’t really about the scar, because as far as anyone knew, the scar was just a mark on his head.

It wasn’t anything special.

I’m sure plenty of kids at the school had scars from all kinds of bumps and knocks.

But what made this scar different to the marks on the other kids, was that everyone knew HOW Harry got his scar.

It was a lasting reminder of what Harry had been through, it was a symbol to the community of good triumphing over evil.

Harry Potter is a work of fiction – but if you’re looking for a real example of scars making someone famous, as well as providing proof of suffering and identity, look no further than the example of Jesus in John chapter 20.

So this guy called Thomas, who was one of the twelve disciples, missed out on the first glimpses of Jesus after the resurrection.

He tells the others that he won’t believe it unless he sees the nail wounds and places his hands in them, as well as the wound in Jesus’ side.

Then eight days later, Jesus appears in a locked room and gives him exactly the opportunity he’d asked for.

We don’t know whether Jesus’ wounds had healed completely or not, and we’re not told exactly what the scars looked like, although it’s safe to say that Jesus probably wasn’t dripping blood all over the floor and there’s a good chance that his wounds had been healed up properly.

What we are told, is that because of this encounter, because he’s seen evidence that the suffering once existed, Thomas now believes.

The scars are proof of what Jesus has been through, come through, and come back from.

The apostle Paul talked about physical scars too, near the end of his letter to the Galatians.

He said that he bears on his body the scars that show he belongs to Jesus.

That’s in verse 17 of Galatians chapter 6.

Paul has been transformed into a new creation, and yet his body bears the scars of punishments given because of his faith.

But instead of viewing those scars as a reminder of the pain he went through, Paul chooses to view them as reminders of his belonging to Jesus.

They are a part of his testimony.

The world tells us to cover up our scars, it tells us they are ugly.

But scars are a testimony of healing, a testimony of recovery, a testimony of real life.

They’re proof that you once were wounded and that God has brought you through those times to where you are now.

They’re proof that you’ve really actually been through something.

And it doesn’t matter whether they’re physical scars, or emotional scars.

By hiding them away and not showing anyone, you’re also hiding away your own personal testimony.

That’s one of the reasons that I talk about my recovery from divorce so often – so that people who are going through it can see that there IS hope and that things WILL get better.

I can provide encouragement and it’s so much more real when someone who has been through it says that – because I really get it. I know what it’s like to have a very complex set of circumstances.

I know what it’s like to battle through the legal system.

I know what it’s like to co-parent.

I know what it’s like to solo parent and I also know what it’s like to find someone new and wonder if they’re the one that God has planned for me.

I know what it’s like to get married for the second time and blend families.

I teach from a position of lived experience, which is dramatically different from most of the Christian teachings on dating, divorce and remarriage out there.

And if I was hiding the scars of my past, I’d never be talking about these things in this sort of format.

Now, I’m not saying to broadcast anything that will get you into legal trouble, and I’m not saying there’s any need to overshare.

There are some things that I’m not able to share about publicly, and that’s totally ok.

But I’m happy to share my testimony of how God got me through a very tough time in my life, because I know how much it can help when you’re in the middle of chaos to know that someone else gets it, that they’ve been there too, and that there IS hope.

So what about you?

Have you got any scars that you’ve been hiding away, hoping nobody would notice?

Those scars are not something to be ashamed of, they’re a part of your testimony.

They’re a powerful reminder of the goodness of God.

And they’re so, so valuable to the kingdom, because there are people out there who are wounded who are desperate for hope – whether that’s hope of healing or a hope of finally feeling whole – and maybe that one conversation with you will be what turns things around for them.

Until next time, blue skies!

P.S If you found this idea interesting or useful, save it for later by pinning it to your Christian Encouragement board on Pinterest.

P.P.S. If you have a friend who might benefit from this message, make sure you take the time right now to share this with them!

More from this show