Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Making Peace

As I looked in the mirror, I noticed that the scars on my cheek are a little more prominent now that I've become older. I remembered going to the dermatoligist a few years ago and he told me he could inject collegen into the most prominent scar and "plump it up." That's not what I was there for and it didn't sound very pleasant to me, especially since it wasn't a permanent fix.

As I gazed in the mirror, I realized that I have made peace with my scars. They are a part of me and with each one comes a story that is written within the pages of my life. They are like milestones, they bring with them memories, both good and bad.

The scars on my cheek came from a dog bite, and honestly, it wasn't the dog's fault. I have always loved animals, especially dogs and horses. I was seven years old and this was one of the smartest dogs I had ever encountered. He was a beautiful German Shepherd and he performed a plethora of tricks. I was smitten with him so much that when he crawled under the table for a nap, so did I. We lay there asleep nose to nose. I had my arm draped around his neck in complete trust.

Enter pesky little brother who decides to quietly sneak up on us and pull the poor dog's tail. The result was a startled dog who thought he was under attack and bit the closest thing to him, which happened to be my face. It took a trip to the hospital and stitches were involved but I never blamed the dog. To this day I blame my brother. Hi Chris!! Haha.

To the various childhood scars, adult scars were added. One is from an appendectomy which saved my life, another is my cesarean scar-which brought my son into this world. I remember everything leading up to and following each one of those events.

But, I also have scars that don't show on the outside. They came from cruel words, the heartbreak of broken relationships, and past betrayals. No one is exempt from painful internal scars. Anyone who has lived long enough on this earth will acquire scars for we all become wounded by others. But we can make peace with them.

Internal scars take longer to heal than the external ones. I can touch where the dog bit me and where I had the surgeries and it doesn't hurt anymore. But just allow a stray thought or a bad memory from the past (even from many years ago) enter my mind and a fresh flood of painful emotion can grip my heart.

This is why we are to "pull down strongholds (in our mind) and cast down imaginations...bringing into captivity EVERY thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:4-5) We don't have to pretend the wound never happened but we can make peace with it. Jesus is our Prince of Peace. All things are exposed to Him, nothing is concealed. He has seen every wound inflicted upon us, He even knows our thoughts. (Heb. 4:13) Jesus sees all the scars we bear. He too bears the scars of this world. He has felt our physical and emotional pain, just read Isaiah 53.

Hebrews 5:15 tells us that we don't have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted just like we are, yet He never sinned. He is God and He was born into a body of flesh. He felt pain as we feel pain. He felt rejection as we feel rejection. He felt wounds as we feel wounds. Now God the Son intercedes to God the Father on our behalf. Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, You have seen the Father." (John 14:9)

There is a healing balm and it is called forgiveness. Only forgiveness can release us from our past and present wounds.  Only forgiveness will allow us to make peace with our inner scars. Jesus knew the POWER of forgiveness. He cried out from the cross, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Our Lord tells us in Matthew 6:14-15 that if we will forgive others, we will be forgiven by our Heavenly Father; but if we do not forgive others we will not be forgiven by our heavenly Father.

 In Matthew 18:21-22 Jesus is having a conversation with Peter. Peter asks how many times do we forgive someone who sins against us. Jesus replies, "...until seven times seventy." I've never been very mathmatical, but in my book 7x70 equals 490.

Is it easy to forgive? No! Not always. More often than not it takes an act of our own will. You may not "feel" forgiveness right away but speak it anyway. And give it some time to work down into your heart. Forgiveness is extremely freeing. Ask Jesus to help you. He will!! Only forgiveness will allow our Prince of Peace help us make peace with our inner scars.

One more thing. If you have a wound that's beginning to heal, here are some words of wisdom from my Mother, "DON'T PICK IT!"

Still Dwelling in Him,

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