December 1, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

“The Most Beautiful Scars”

Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker, Author, and President

 

Key Verse:

1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

“Mommy, what are those silvery lines on your hips?” Brooke was inquiring about the stretch marks that are plentiful on my body after birthing 3 of my 5 kids. She was studying with intense curiosity mixed with great concern as to what kind of animal could have scratched and scarred me so greatly. As I informed her about the beauty of what the stretch marks represented to me, she couldn’t get past their unsightliness.

 

“Good thing those marks aren’t on your feet where everyone would be able to see them,” she quipped back. Again, I stressed the fact that they were a beautiful symbol of the fact my body was used in a sacrificial way to make her birth and the birth of her two sisters possible. It’s the mark of the ultimate servant who gives their life to make new life possible for others. Not that I actually died in the process but that the way my body looked, smooth and unblemished, died during the rigors of pregnancy. Impressed with my own answer I replied back to her, “Now don’t you think they are beautiful?”

 

She wasn’t in tune with my spiritual correlations and clever metaphors. “Mom,” she started slowly, “you are beautiful, those marks…not so beautiful.” The honesty of a six year old! Really though, she’s right. The marks themselves are not so beautiful. They are jagged, uneven, discolored signs that my skin was stretched almost beyond what it could bear. It was stretched so thin that it will never quite be the same.

 

Looking in the mirror I continued to examine the evidence of my past pregnancies. A sense of pride welled up in my heart as I realized the scars made me like Jesus in a way. I gave my life to make new life possible. I carried this new person and took on the burden of their weight, stretched almost beyond what I could bear. My experience left me scarred and forever marked, but the product of my scars is a joy I wouldn’t have any other way.

 

It still moves me to tears to think about Jesus’ scars.  I’m amazed that the God of the universe would care so much for me that He would allow His Son, Jesus, to give up His life for me. While I have not been called to physically die for my children, I have been called to die to the selfishness that characterized my life before kids. It was all about me back then. My schedule, my needs, my wants, my time, my money, my desires, my dreams, and my plans dictated how I spent my life. But that is not what God wanted for me. He wanted my life to be about Him and His plans for me. So, He used not one, not two, not three, not four, but five small beings to make sure I am reminded on a daily basis that serving others is what the pathway to joy is paved with. Little stones of service that, when carefully laid one right beside another, lead to great places.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, I thank you for allowing me to participate in the joys of motherhood.  Whether I have given birth, adopted, or mothered another child spiritually, would You allow me to spend time reflecting on the wounds and scars that come with such love?  I thank You that my Savior is always able to relate to my sufferings, and that I have the ability to learn more about Him through the many avenues of being a mom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Additional Resources:

The Bathtub is Overflowing, but I Feel Drained; by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Listen to Today's Radio Show

 

A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life; by Lysa TerKeurst

 

Application Steps:

Spend some time journaling about your experience with giving birth (be it physical or spiritual).

 

  1. Describe some of the most joyous moments you had during your “waiting” period for that new life to be brought forth.
  2. Describe some of the most painful moments you had.
  3. Were there some scary moments?
  4. Were there some physically or emotionally “scarring” moments?
  5. What were your emotions when that new life came into yours?

 

Pray about sharing this experience with your child.  It could be an invaluable tool by which you can share the message of Jesus Christ with them if they don’t have a personal relationship with Him yet.

 

Reflection Points:

Whether you birthed your children through your body or through your heart through adoption, you have served…you have sacrificed…you have been stretched. Ponder today the gift behind the markings and scars of motherhood.

 

Power Verses:

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (NIV)

 

John 20:25, “So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’  But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’” (NIV)

 

Galatians 6:15 & 17, “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.  Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” (NIV)