Take a look at this tree:
Maybe not from a distance… but what about as we get closer?
Can you see it?
This tree is scarred… damaged…
And as we look around closer we can see why:
A cable attached around this tree trunk YEARS ago has now bitten into the bark, marred the tree, altered its growth, forever changed this tree.
When out for a walk a few weeks ago I noticed the tree, but didn’t know why it stood out, because from a distance I couldn’t yet see… as I approached closer I could tell something wasn’t quite right… and as I stood next to the tree the true extent of the situation hit me.
I even put my hand on the scars, wondering how I could help this predicament.
And the words rang in my head, “we have scars like this too.”
I let that sit for a while. That is a rough one. It really is. Not an easy sentence to tackle in a blog post. And so I’ve been waiting for the time… cause this one hurts.
It hurts because so many people have scars.
And, while there are some scars that we celebrate like trophy, most scars are things we’d rather forget, hide, pretend they never existed.
From a distance maybe no one can see. Maybe, like the tree, we have a little bend on one side which shows that things aren’t quite right. If we ever let people get close enough… maybe they would see the truth of the pain. Or, perhaps, it has been years and no one can perceive the damage. Worse yet, for some, no one seems to be able to help.
Physical scars may have been caused by surgery, injury, accident that happened years ago, something that happened one time and then it was done. But even a one-time incident can cause a great change on our lives.
But not all scars are physical and those other types of scars may be more like what is happening to this tree: an ongoing injury. The cable has been there so long that the tree has not only been permanently changed, but has come to grow around it…
Do you have scars like that?
I said this one was tough. So tough that it can be hard to find the hope. Because, as I looked at that tree, I couldn’t figure out how I could possibly help. And I know that the things that scar us can leave little room for hope.
There are times when an “easy answer” or a “quick fix” just don’t exist.
And that hurts.
I don’t understand the heart of God in these situations. I believe that God is in control; I believe that God has a plan and a purpose; I believe that God will work all things to good. But I can’t always see how.
So tonight I write in faith.
“faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Writing in faith that even when, through our scars, we can’t see it…. there is hope. Hope in the love of God.
The words I’ve tried to type after this point seem to fail to express what is on my heart. So I’ll end it with this:
My heart has been burdened to pray for those who bear scars, both seen and unseen. And also for those who are heavy laden, chained, attacked, undergoing injury…
I am praying these scriptures for you:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Join me in praying for those who bear scars.