Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” ― Cormac McCarthy

      You may have noticed a rather obvious “forgiveness” theme running through the last three days, but it has been heavy on my mind of late.  New subject tomorrow, I promise.  Now, the picture at the right depicts just some of the scars that cover my body.  Those particular scars are reminders of several surgeries to deal with tuberculosis of the skin (yes there is more than one kind of tuberculosis) and six months of massive antibiotic treatment over six years ago.  Not pretty, but Doctor Chris just yesterday said they were “nothing” just ugly.  External scars are things we can learn to live with even if they are as disfiguring as burn scars on our faces.  It is not our external scars that will bring us down, it is the ones on the inside that can and will destroy us.  As Christians, we should know that Jesus suffered and died for us to take away out internal scars and griefs. 
  “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:4-5
       When you are wounded, you will often choose to retain your feelings of hate and resentment rather than to be healed of those wounds and allow God to make things better. Do you really want to be healed? Or would you rather hold on to feelings of hate and resentment inside your heart against that person(s) who has wronged you? Would you rather see them suffer and punished for their wrong, or would you rather be healed yourself and forgiven for the mistakes that you've made in your life? Remember, Jesus made it clear that if we want to be forgiven for our failures in life, then we need to forgive others and give them what we want God to give us — His mercy and forgiveness!  The one who wronged you does not keep you in bondage to pain and hurt—you do.  You keep yourself in a spiritual prison made of invisible internal scars called anger, hate, resentment, and bitterness.  We are not responsible for what was done to us, but we are responsible for how we chose or choose to react to it.  There is an old Russian story of a man who asked his son if he had two wolves, one that was anger and one that was love—which one would survive the longest.  The son answered with wisdom beyond his years when he said, “The one I feed.”  External scars may not be pretty but they are not dangerous and unlikely to hurt others.  The real threat comes from the internal scars that we feed and refuse to give to Jesus who has asked for them, suffered for them, died for them, rose for them to give you freedom from that interior pain that is the real threat to your peace and love.  Christ said, “I was hungry and you fed me.”  You fed Him love.  Keep feeding Him and you will finally be free and living in His peace.
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