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Inside Your Scars

“From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” – Galatians 6:17

I wish I had that kind of courage to be so bold. I want to have the faith to believe this is true about me, just as it was true of Paul. But fear always seems to scream louder, making me believe that I am weak and lacking, unfit to bear the marks of Jesus.

What fascinates me about this verse is that he finds strength in the scars of Jesus – the wounded, broken Jesus – not the obvious awesomeness of being, you know, the Son of God. Paul isn’t saying, “Don’t mess with me, because my God can strike you with righteous lightning.” That is what often comes to mind when we hear catch-phrases like “God is for you” and “do not be afraid”. We think of a God who fights battles for His people, clears pathways through seas, heals the paralyzed, and calms raging storms threatening to destroy us.

But no. Paul doesn’t take confidence in those attributes of Jesus. Instead, his boldness comes in the bleeding, massacred, scared Jesus taking upon Himself our darkness, our shame, our sin, and our loneliness.

Something to ponder: what if we, in our frail humanity, are invited to find strength and healing in the scars of Jesus? What if the power we have over our own weakness comes, not in the powerful attributes of God, but rather in the sacrificial, scarred Jesus?

Scars healing within the shelter of scars. Wounds being wrapped in the bandage of wounds. Closeness to God possible because of Jesus’ temporary distance from his Father.

Wouldn’t it be comforting to know, in the midst of our depression, our fears, and our loneliness that Jesus knows exactly what we are experiencing? Wouldn’t it be incredible to know that we can rest in the wounds of Jesus, not just His strength?

I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs written by Jon Foreman called “I Am Still Running”:

Build me a home
Inside your scars
Build me a home
Inside your song
Build me a home
Inside your open arms
The only place I ever will belong

In the wounds of Jesus we find hope that brokenness is not the end of the story. Depression isn’t our eternal home. Fear isn’t our shelter. Pain isn’t all we have in our future.

The wounded Jesus invites us to find shelter in His wounds, boldness in His scars, and power in His overcoming death itself.

My faith is not in a Jesus who is far off, distant, unaware of the pain of life. No…My faith is in the Jesus who knows what it is to be far from God, to be weighed down by the heaviness of sin, and to be alone in brokenness…And yet, even in death, God – who is life – was too powerful to be contained by it.

As I said, I would like to believe that, but I feel so weak.

But maybe that’s just it…Maybe we’re missing the point. Maybe it’s OK to be weak, to struggle with doubt, to feel lonely, and to wrestle with brokenness as we hide in the scars of Jesus.

We are not alone. We are loved. And we are invited to experience the love of the Father in the scars of Jesus.