March 30

So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. —Matthew 27:66 (NIV)

I was waiting for the results of my MRI that Saturday, worried that the doctor's grim prediction was right and I had a new tumor. I couldn't abide the waiting; doubts tormented me at every turn and my fate seemed sealed beyond hope. Is Jesus really Who He says He is? I wondered. Is there really a plan to all of this?

It was then that a call came from the hospital where a nurse-friend of mine works. A young lady I'll call Joan, who also has neurofibromatosis, had tried to commit suicide, and my friend had thought I might be willing to talk with her. I couldn't imagine what good I could possibly do, but I agreed.

When I met with Joan, the first thing she asked was to see all my scars. Like battlefield veterans, we were soon sharing war stories of the loneliness, the pain and the surgeries that had left scars both visible and hidden. Joan, whose speech was garbled because of the tumors growing in her mouth, reached for my hand and said, "You understand my every hurt-felt need." Her words may not have come out exactly as she intended, but they spoke volumes to my waiting heart.

In my time of waiting, when I was convinced nothing was happening, God had used me—and my pain—to comfort someone else. It's just as Paul says in II Corinthians 1:3-4 (niv): "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Lord, thank You for the precious scars You bear as witnesses of Your love for me. Help me to use my scars to share the good news of Your love.

—Roberta Messner