There is a wonderful expression in scripture, ‘It came to pass’. I love the hidden meaning I see in these words: It came, and it will pass.
In life there are so many things that happen to us during our journeys. There are highs and lows, there are battles and there are victories. There are losses sustained and gains made.
Solomon says it well in A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3):
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ultimately, we emerge from whatever situation we find ourselves in and we may move on, eventually, to a time when our experiences are but a distant memory. However, the scars remain from every difficult and distressing situation.
Is that a good thing? They say when scars heal, the scar tissue is stronger than the original skin.
Scars can be emotional, physical, and even spiritual. There are so many stories in the Bible where people went through tough situations. They finally emerged, but the scars remained.
Look at Jacob: he fought with an Angel and would not let him go until he was blessed. Eventually he was blessed, but he walked with a limp the rest of his life. Paul was beaten, stoned and shipwrecked many times. He came through it, but he carried the marks on his back his entire life.
Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into captivity, but he knew what it was to be wounded by his own family. He could see that what was intended for evil against him, God brought about for good. Jesus, even in his resurrected body, carried the wounds in his hands and feet and side.
- Scars remind us of a past experience.
- Scars remind us that we have survived.
- Scars teach us not to attempt the same thing again or to take more care when we do.
You know that you have fully recovered from a bad experience when you can look back at it without harbouring a grudge or feeling the pain of it all over again; when you can look at those scars and thank God for his help and the lessons he has taught you.
Only then, after embracing your scars, can you move on stronger and wiser than you were before.