So, the other disciples told [Thomas], “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks [scars] in His hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side [scar], I will not believe” (John 20:25, NIV) He was pierced for our transgressions…and by His wounds [evidenced by His scars] we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)
Friend to Friend
As a physical therapist, I spend many hours each week working on the post-surgical scars of my patients. You see, scars, when left to themselves, have a tendency to become bound down and restricted. In the process of forming they can even adhere themselves to other nearby structures, such as skeletal muscles and organs. It’s my job to make sure new scars heal in a flexible manner and any existing scars are mobilized and released so they won’t continue to pull on or bind up the fluid motion of neighboring anatomical structures.
Through the course of our lives, we can have close encounters with wounded people who leave us with wounds of our own. (Hurt people, hurt people.) Add to that our tendency to “run into sin” and wound ourselves (and our reputations) and you’ll find that by the time we reach adulthood, we can carry quite an assortment of “marks.” Some of these scars are surface only, but others point to the location of deep wounds which—when left to “close up” on their own—can leave us bound down in many unhealthy ways. These restrictions will prevent us from moving freely in the Spirit and following the Lord in all the ways He longs to stretch us.
When I set out to release a patient’s scar, whether it’s a newly acquired one or an old relic, I first assess its ability to move in all directions. I even lift it up away from the body to see whether it’s adhered at an even deeper level. Once I find the scar’s direction of greatest restriction, I stretch it towards the edge of its limitation, hold it firmly against its barrier, and then wait for time and my external pressure to realign the collagen fibers within the scar tissue. When these fibers become better aligned, unhealthy “holding patterns” let go, and movement is restored so the body can function more optimally.
Many people in the Bible bore scars, Jesus and Paul most notably. However, their wounds didn’t close up in a restricted, forward movement-hindering way. Their scars, in contrast, told a story—yes, of past-woundedness, but more importantly, of God’s power to heal, redeem, restore, and conquer death!
When we intentionally stretch against the barriers of our own woundedness, we allow the therapeutic hand of the Holy Spirit to work on us, to remold and remake the places in our lives which were once scarred down. When His “mobilizing” work is done, you and I are able to move THROUGH our scars and use them as testimonies of what the Lord has brought us through and restored us from. Then, when people see us functioning fluidly in spite of our scarred past, the power of Jesus is revealed in us, and His fame grows as people glorify His name for the work He has done in us.
Jesus’ scarred hands still stretch wide to bid us welcome. May you work your scars in such a way that your life gains the (flex)ability to bid others to Him as well.
Master Mobilizer, work on me, Lord. Bring deep healing to my woundedness. Stretch my scars. And while my life will continue to bear the marks of past wounding, may my scars never restrict me from serving You in whichever way YOU chose to use me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Can you identify an area of your life in which you feel held back or bound down? Can you associate a scarring event as its origin? If so, begin to bring this scar to the Lord. Through prayer and the power of relevant, scar-releasing Scripture, press into your painful restriction until it releases. You may need the counsel of a trusted friend or professional to help you accomplish this. But know this: your efforts will be well worth the pain of stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. Only then will you be free to truly move forward as the Spirit leads you!
More from the Girlfriends
Overcoming Overeating: It’s Not What You Eat, It’s What Eats You (Harvest House Publishers) is one of Lisa’s six books in her Restoring Your Temple® health resource collection. Her books are available on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, or wherever books are sold.