Christmas morning my brother and I were running late to meet my mom at a gas station about thirty miles from her house. Living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains all the roads are curvy as they wind their way through the foothills. It was foggy that morning, which made the road wet. I figured my mom was probably getting impatient, so I was driving faster then I should have been. This of course doesn’t make a good combination, windy roads, foggy conditions and a truck with bald tires, disaster is bound to occur, and it did. I ended up destroying my dad’s pride and joy—when we finally stopped rolling, we had picked up about 135 feet of barbed wire, which was wrapped nicely right behind the cab. There wasn’t a straight panel on that old Dodge Powerwagon.
Seemingly we were, overall, no worse for wear. My brother suffered a separated shoulder and received several lacerations running down the length of his arm, graciously given to him by an overzealous man, just trying to help. As for me? I seemed fine, joking about how dad was going to kill me for wrecking the truck
I wandered around the accident site for about forty-five minutes thinking I escaped uninjured. People on the scene asked me if I was alright, and I told them I was fine. But there was a sign that something was wrong—my brother had blood on the front of his shirt, and nobody could figure out where it came from. I was wearing a long, dark-colored sweater on that day, that was perfect for covering the wound. A woman who stopped to help us happened to be a nurse and she asked again if I was sure I was ok. I said “Yes, but my back does sting a little bit.”
I lifted the back of my sweater to discover the top four inches of my blue jeans were red— crimson red. I calmly, in almost a joking voice, said “Oh, oh.” The nurse told me to let her see. I lifted the back of my sweater and in a very panicked voice she yelled “Sit down right now!!!” She asked a man to apply pressure to my back and that’s when the pain hit me.
Isn’t that the way it always is? You can go along in your life thinking everything is just fine, “I’m ok,” you say, but once that veil has been lifted and the wound has been discovered, that’s when the pain of our trauma begins. Just under that sweater laid a thirteen-inch gash across my lower back. It would take a surgeon more than five hours and nearly 3000 stitches to sew me back up.
How many of us walk around thinking everything is ok, when we’re actually so hyped-up on our own adrenalin that we are totally unaware that, just under our own self-imposed veil of secrecy, lays a potentially life-altering, debilitating wound that won’t just go away. Until we address the wound, healing cannot and will not begin.
From what I am told that surgeon painstakingly sewed every layer of muscle back together, one at a time. What an example of what Jesus wants to do in each of our lives. Jesus wants to take every broken, shattered, piece of your life that has torn you apart and left you with a gaping wound in your very soul—a wound so deep that it becomes debilitating, like you’re bleeding out and don’t even know it. “I am fine,” you say. The truth is that you were millimeters from death, but God held back the hand of death and preserved your life. He painstakingly put all the pieces back together, bit by bit, layer after layer and healed you.
It amazes me to think how prideful and arrogant I was back then. Ten months after the accident I started wrestling at a community college, disregarding sound advice from my physical therapist, who happened to by my mom. Why would I listen to her?
There is no doubt I should have “red-shirted” that year! I can’t tell you how many matches I lost because in the middle of the match my back said, “I’m done,” and just quit working. My body would just collapse.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m healed now!” and gone on with life like nothing ever happened only to find yourself later laying on your back defeated?
After that wrestling season ended, I hit the gym hard and came back a beast. I gained about twenty pounds of muscle and made sure there was going to be no repeat of last year. I worked on area-specific strength training to strengthen my lower back, and worked my abs like a mad man, even though I hate working abs!
Until you take the time and work on the areas of your life that help you to heal from your past wounds, you will find yourself failing over and over again.
God is trying to do a work in us, to heal us, to make us whole, but we must allow for the healing process to occur. We must do the work—hit the gym as it were—do all we can to address and rebuild those areas of our life that were affected.
But the scars do still remain. It took years for me to regain feeling in my lower back. Even today, some 30 plus years later, the scars still remind me of that past trauma. I amhealed. I dohave full function of my body. God has healed me, but that doesn’t mean that I, at times, don’t have to spend a little extra time stretching that area where the wound occurred or that at times, I don’t get strange pins and needles sensations in that area.
In Christ, youare healed. God is doing a new thing in you, but that doesn’t mean that those wounds don’t have life-long side effects. God hasrestored you, but that doesn’t mean that you will never be without scars from your past wound.
The account of Jesus after he rose from the dead is amazing to me. There are several accounts were Jesus showed people his scars, disclosing the things that pierced him so deeply, but he wasn’t ashamed to show them his scars as a testimony of his overcoming victory.
Let us never be ashamed of our wounds. Because of Jesus Christ we too have victory over every wound that we have endured. Your scars are your proof that you are more than a conquerer!