Marks Of The Cross
Her voice seemed to quiver on the other end of the telephone as she stated, “I won't be able to join you and the rest of our friends for dinner tonight. I have a divorce recovery program I'm attending at the same time." Jan and I proceeded to talk, as she shared her feelings and her hesitancy to attend the workshop, to be so open and vulnerable. With her divorce just barely a year past, Jan was struggling to start her life anew with three children still at home and many very complex and difficult issues to resolve and work through.
As we talked, I encouraged her that the Lord knew all her struggles, her pain, her vulnerability. I told her how Jesus knew what it was like to be betrayed and sold-out by one He had loved and trusted. Jesus knew the injustice of a mock trial and going to court. Jesus knew what it felt like to be abandoned, to suffer blows to His dignity and worth, when they rejected, mocked, and abused Him. He knew what it meant to suffer. He even experienced shame before all as He hung naked upon the cross. And He experienced death, like the death of her marriage. The parallels drawn for her, were truths Jan could identify with.
But then I told her that her shame, pain, sorrow, and seeming defeat didn't end there. Just as surely as the Lord's suffering hadn't ended at the cross, there were better days to come. For through it all came resurrection life. Jesus had life for Jan after the cross and tomb. Part of that would include being vulnerable and real with others, revealing her scars or marks of her cross, and also showing her scars to others. Jesus did the same to lead the way towards a victorious life after the suffering and death.
Have you, like Jan, ever wondered how God can bring triumph out of tragedy, blessings out of trials, life out of death? Have you ever wondered why Jesus still had the marks of the cross even after His risen life? The scars we all carry are but reminders of what God has done! Scars are just scars: no longer any pain or shame, but rather reminders of the faithfulness of God. Take up your cross in victory! And then rise in newness of life. Know that He hears your cries. Let God turn your scars into marks for good. Let Him turn your defeats into victories in this resurrection season. Let it become a testimony to His faithfulness.
I have seen your tears and suffering. I know and understand fully everything you’ve faced. Just like I bore My cross and was raised from the dead, this season of suffering will end for you. Bring Me your pain. Entrust Me with your heart and your scars will become marks of victory. I love you dearly My beloved one.
"And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it." (Matt. 10: 38-39)
“Put your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand, and place it in My side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”(John 20:27)