Luke 17:11-19, Revelation 21:4-5
Luke 17:11-19 says:
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. and Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
This passage in Luke tells the story of Jesus passing through a village and ten lepers calling out to be healed. Most of us have read about this miracle or have heard it taught in church. What struck me as much as the awesome healing that took place here is the fact that only ONE leper came back and thanked Jesus for healing him that day, falling on his face in gratitude. The other nine must have gone on their way and took for granted what had just happened and Jesus definitely noticed it. He noticed the ungrateful spirit of the other nine lepers. Jesus also told the healed man that his faith had made him whole. In many cases throughout the Bible, when Jesus healed someone (Matthew 9:22, Luke 18:42) he followed up by saying that their faith had them whole.
I want to make sure I am like that leper and thank Jesus for the healing he provided me.
Along with healing, sometimes we are left with scars. I am thankful for the scars in my life and they are a daily reminder of God's mercy and amazing grace. They are also a reminder that my faith has made me whole again.
We all have scars. Some have more emotional scars than physical scars. I would say, if we are honest, most of us have some of both. Emotional scars come in different forms: an unkind word as a child that you've never forgotten but moved on from or a broken relationship that left a hurtful scar. Can you think of an emotional scar you have endured in your life? The old saying about sticks and stones just isn't true and most of the time an emotional scar involves some sort of words that are hard to forget. I do believe forgiveness is a key to healing for the person who has been scarred emotionally, but isn't always easy.
Physical scars can come in different ways. Some scars are more serious than others and some lifesaving and /or life changing. I always think of our military and all of the scars they have endured for our freedom. In my case, after a cancer diagnosis, it was surgery, port placement and radiation that gave me my most recent scars. After all of the healing was over and the port was taken out, I was talking to my dear friend about how grateful I was to be finished and made the comment, "I have lots of scars!" She said something very profound to me that day and I will never forget it. She said, "Robin, scars are evidence that healing has occurred". As a nurse, she has seen open wounds that never healed and many scars. I know God placed her in my life that day to make me truly see His divine healing hand. I realized God had truly healed me and my scars were the evidence of that healing.
I can't help but think of Jesus and how much He loved me, gave His life and endured much worse pain and eventual scarring that day on the cross. I know He is thankful to God for those scars because it gave his children the hope of eternal life. Even though time always fades a scar of any kind, the Bible tells us in Revelation that one day our scars will be gone and we will be made new.
Revelation 21:4-5 says:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
During this season of thanksgiving, is there a scar you can physically look at and thank God for protecting you or saving your life? Is there an emotional scar from your past that you can dig deep and see the purpose in your life? Maybe there is an open wound that you want to ask God's healing. I hope I never take for granted God's healing in my life and let the scars of this life be a daily reminder of what God has done for me with the realization that one day the scars of this earthly life will be gone.