Thursday, August 9, 2018

Our Scars as an Ebenezer

 Mural 15' x 30' - Robert Bucknell
"God's wounds cure, sin's kisses kill." - William Gurnall 
I have two round scars, one above each eyebrow.    They were put there by a surgeon to fasten a metal halo to a body cast when I broke my neck in a car accident.  The wreck happened at the height of my hedonistic rebellion against God.  But God mercifully saved both my life and my soul the night it happened. 
Those scars always remind me of God’s unmerited grace toward me.  
Every believer bears some kind of scar resulting from sin against God—whether that sin was self-inflicted or inflicted by someone else.   Some wounds are not even the result of a particular sin, but come from the sorrows of living in a fallen world.   Wounds come in all different shapes and sizes.  Some are physical and some are mental, but all have a spiritual impact.
Wounding is God’s loving way of getting our attention.  It is His way of showing us how desperately we need Him.   Wounds are not something to be ignored as though it never happened.   But they are something that can be used to draw us to the Cross and to our Wonderful Counselor in whom we can find healing and rest for our soul.   In Putting Your Past in It’s Place Steven Viars writes: 
“What happens when wounds are never faced?  Is it true that time heals all wounds?  Author and biblical counselor Wayne Mack wrote,
“Time heals all wounds” is one of the most inane statements ever made.  Spiritual wounds may harden into scabs and scars over time, but their harmful consequences inevitably continue unless true healing occurs.  Time by itself can never truly heal any wound of a spiritual nature.”
Unaddressed hurts can become a powerfully negative part of a person’s past.  That is why Scripture spends so much time teaching how such hurts can be handled in a way that is thorough and powerful.” 1
No wound was ever greater than the wounds Christ bore for our transgressions.   Christ, the Great Physician and Healer is able to heal even the deepest wounds caused by sin and by the sorrows of life in general.  
But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
We are such a forgetful people that God commands us to remember the great and wonderful things He has done for us.   This is why we take communion regularly.  And this is why Peter said, 
I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.” 2 Peter 1:12
 Though scars will fade over time, they serve as Ebenezers, monuments of remembrance of His great mercy and power to heal our hearts and minds.  They are trophies of His enduring love towards us.   
 Christ the Physician of Souls
 by Anne Steele

Deep are the wounds which sin hath made;
Where shall the sinner find a cure?
In vain, alas, is natures aid,
The work exceeds all nature’s pow’r.

Sin like a raging fever reigns,
With fatal strength in ev’ry part;
The dire contagion fills the veins,
And spreads its poison in the heart.

And can no sov’reign balm be found,
And is no kind physician nigh,
To ease the pain and heal the wound,
Ere life and hope forever fly?

There is a great Physician near,
Look up, O fainting soul, and live;
See, in His heavn’ly smiles appear
Such ease as nature cannot give!

See, in the Savior’s dying blood,
Life, health, and bliss, abundant flow,
‘Tis only this dear sacred flood
Can ease thy pain, and heal thy woe.

Sin throws in vain its pointed dart,
For here a sov’reign cure is found,
A cordial for the fainting heart,
A balm for every painful wound.” 
____________________

1. Putting Your Past in Its Place – Steven Viars; Harvest House; 2011; pg 36-37
2 Christ the Physician of our Souls; Anne Steele, Seasons of the Heart; Donna Kelderman; Reformation Heritage Books; 2013 
Anne Steel (1717-1778) was a minister's daughter born in England.  She wrote many hymns and poems, and published two volumes under the pen name Theodosia.   She spent the last 9 years of her life bedridden.   Her last words were, “I know that my Redeemer liveth”. 

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