When I was a new mother (my daughter was probably a couple of months old), I was changing her diaper, when I looked down at her and saw a line of blood on her face! As any mother would, I totally freaked out and realized that I had cut her with my diamond engagement ring. My daughter is a beautiful woman, but, if you look really carefully at her face you can still see her scar.
When God looks at all of us, He looks at us and thinks we are beautiful. After all we are His creation! However, we are all scarred. We’ve all had events in our lives that have stabbed our hearts and created wounds. These wounds have hopefully turned into scars. A wound that isn’t healed can become infected, making the rest of our bodies sick. We don’t want open wounds, we want healing, and scars represent that our wounds have healed over. Now, our spiritual scars have been caused throughout our lives. All of us have them, it doesn’t matter how perfect we pretend to be, we are all scarred.
In John 20:19-21 it says, “Now when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were together due to fear of the Jews, Yeshua came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” Notice that although the Lord was in their midst they didn’t recognize Him until He showed them His scars. Yeshua didn’t have to keep the scars of the crucifixion on His resurrected body, He could have returned without them. Remember, He was the one who put new flesh on the hands and feet of lepers. However, He chose to keep the scars, because they were precious to Him, and that’s how others would recognize who He was. In Zechariah 12:10, we see the prophecy, “And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of pleading, so that they will look at Me who they pierced, and they will mourn for Him, like one mourning for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” In this verse, you see that our people will recognize their Messiah because of His scars. The Messiah, the one who paid the price for us, was not ashamed of His scars, so let us not be ashamed of our scars. Our scars tell our history, our past. They tell of the hurdles that we’ve encountered and overcome. Also, when we are not ashamed of our scars and tell our stories, then others will recognize who Yeshua is. We will be able to tell what Messiah has done for us, how he’s rescued us, healed us, and restored us.
Let’s look at someone that we all can relate to in the scriptures that was terribly wounded, Leah. In Genesis 29:17 it says, “And Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in figure and appearance.” The word for weak eyes, means tender, soft and weak. There is lots of conversation about what this means. I think it means how her eyes looked. They were either crossed eyes, protruding eyes or some kind of eye disorder. Also, notice that the second half of this scripture is comparing Rachel’s beauty to Leah’s flaw. Rachel was perfectly beautiful, and Leah was not. All of her life, Leah had lived with the difference, and the flaw.
In Genesis 29, the story is told of Jacob meeting Rachel and falling in love with her. Jacob then speaks to Laban to acquire Rachel as his wife. Laban, however, realizes that Leah is the eldest, and also not as beautiful, as Rachel, so he decides to trick Jacob into marrying Leah. Look at v. 25 “So it came about in the morning that, behold, it was Leah!” Can we even imagine how Leah felt in that tent? How Jacob must have screamed insults at her? How angry he must have been, and how humiliated Leah must have felt? Leah then had to deal with a husband that adores her sister, and has to perform his duty to her. Every day, Leah interacts with her sister, (the other woman) and is reminded that she wasn’t the one Jacob wanted. But, notice something in v. 31 …. The Lord saw that Leah was unloved (actually literally hated!) and God opened up her womb. Leah thinks that with each son that she gives her husband that Jacob will love her. How defeated and rejected she must have felt, just like many of us have felt. Look at V.35, because this is where Leah’s healing of her wounds is described. She had been turning to her husband for acceptance and love until the very end, but, at this point she says, “This time I will praise the Lord.” At that very moment her healing journey began! When she finally stopped looking to her husband for the things that she needed, she finally turned to God. How many of us are looking for healing of our wounds through our relationships with our families, husbands, our children even our congregations? Nothing can bring that healing except the Lord. He is the only one who can bring the healing. In verse 35, the son that Leah has is Judah, head of the tribe that Yeshua would come from. Through Leah’s healing, it brought forth healing for the entire world.
Perhaps, for a while now you’ve been picking at your scab. Remember how when you were a kid and you would scrape your knee and you kept picking at it? It had trouble healing because you wouldn’t leave it alone. If we constantly go over our stories and go over our pain, disappointment and anger, we will not heal. Our wounds will not become scars. Remember, Leah only started to heal when she looked away from her husband to the Lord (The Healer). We have to let the anger, bitterness, disappointment go. God says, in Hebrews 10:17 “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more”. How does God do that? How does an all-knowing God forget? If we look at the opposite of the word “forget” (“to remember”) we see that God remembered Noah, God remembered Abraham, God remembered Rachel. In each incident, God’s remembering meant that He was about to do something, and act. Therefore, if God’s remembering means He is about to act, then God’s forgetting means that He is not going to act. Look at Jeremiah 31:34, “For I will forget their wickedness and will remember their sins no more”. He forgets our sins, and He is not going to act upon them. We need to model ourselves after God. While we cannot physically forget the details of the wounds of our pasts, we can choose to not act on them. We can choose to forgive the person who has hurt us, and not allow the memory of the offense to control our lives.
There is a great quote by Sharon Jaynes: “Satan wants to use our past to paralyze us. God wants to use our past to propel us. The choice is ours”.