Thankful for Scars - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - July 23

Thankful for the Scars
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." - 1 Peter 5:10

When my son was four years old, we moved into a new house. We were only moving a half-mile up the road, so we went back and forth with full cars. Unload, reload, unload, reload it went for a number of hours. My little man soon grew frustrated with all the work and announced, "Why are we taking all this time moving all this stuff? I mean, Jesus could pick it all up with one hand and put it over here...and God...God could pick it all up with ONE FINGER!" We all smiled because he truly could not grasp why in the world we would be sweating and lifting and working so very hard when God could take care of it for us.

And this story made me think. I don't know of another time that I have been praying for healing and restoration in more friends’ and families’ lives than right now. Marital strain, sickness, broken relationships, and consequences of bad choices weigh on my heart for those I love and others I simply read about in the news. It never feels good to see people hurting. You just wish you could take it all away with the snap of your finger. But you can't. It takes work.

Work through healing and restoration. And those are big words. Big. Words.

They take sweat and tears and heavy lifting of our hearts and minds. They take laying out our fears and doubts and hurts and unforgiveness and offenses and bad choices to sort out and work through. They take a lot of prayer and most times leave open wounds, both physical and emotional depending on your circumstances. And those wounds eventually leave scars.

Recently, my oldest was sitting on the couch beside me, and I saw her looking at her legs and arms carefully. She soon announced that she had six scars. My son joined the conversation and he shared a handful of deep scars from being a rough and tumble boy. But then they asked me about my scars. I told them about the gash on my knee from a barbed wire fence, the line on my nose from skin cancer, and the mark on my chin from falling off my bed years ago. But they didn't ask about the scars on my heart, and I didn't tell them about them. Those are harder to explain. Harder to see. And harder to talk about.

Y'all, most scars have a story. A memory attached to them. Some are really tough to talk about. Some just scratch the surface, but some not only leave a gash in our physical body but leave a gash in our hearts as well. Those are the real deal. They bring the words healing and restoration to a whole new meaning. The process is difficult and heart-wrenching at times and you can find yourself wondering, "Why Lord!? Why do I have to go through this?"

But look at the chorus lyrics to "Scars" by I Am They:

"So I'm thankful for the scars
'Cause without them I wouldn't know your heart
And I know they'll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars."

Wow.

Y'all, scars can be ugly. They mar our appearance. They leave a lasting reminder of some sort of trauma. And they change us, inside and out sometimes.

But without them and the process it took to get them, we wouldn't have the opportunity to know the Lord more deeply. We wouldn't have the chance to say, "Lord, I'm hurting! Show me who you are through this healing process!" We wouldn't have the reminder of the healing that took place through Him. And we wouldn't have the amazing privilege of telling people about Him because of what He did in our lives through the healing and restoration process.

trials not wasted

I don't have all the answers. Only the Lord does. But I do know that my son was so right about one thing. The Lord does have the power in just one of His fingertips to do incredible things in our lives if we will let Him. Big and small. He could fix everything in an instant. He could snap and healing takes place. He could point and marriages would be made whole again.

But if He did that, we wouldn't have the sweat and the tears and the struggle to need Him and ask for His strength and His wisdom in the process. And most of all, we wouldn't have the stories of our scars, where they came from, and how the Lord healed us through them to share with others.

If you are struggling right now, don't think for one second that this trial will be wasted. Those open wounds, those hard conversations, those broken hearts that others can't see...the Lord can use them for His glory...along with the scars they may leave behind. Keep praying, keep hoping, keep loving, keep forgiving, and keep resting in the arms of a great big God whose power is more than you could ever imagine.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." - 1 Peter 5:10


Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mother, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book Bumper, helping others to see that the heart is what counts most. She blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her in everyday life and contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with an M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has eighteen years of experience teaching and currently serves as a Parent Coordinator in the Opelika City Schools. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and leading the FBCO Teen Moms group. She lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.

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