“‘You’re a burned-out case,
as good as dead.
Everyone has given up on you.
You’re hopeless. Jeremiah 30:12 (MSG)
The road rises and falls on this journey through life. There are peaks, and always there are very deep valleys – shadow of death valleys. And the experience of clawing your way out of those valleys leaves marks. Sometimes physical, often emotional, always spiritual – they forever remind us that we were or are (perhaps we are once more) a “burned out case, as good as dead.”
Divorce, abuse, addiction, abandonment, affliction, handicap, depression, disorder, disease, imprisonment, sin, stupidity…the list could go on. We all have our crosses to bear. The valley of death’s shadow is part of the journey to Life. God is a God of resurrection and you can’t be resurrected unless you are dead. You can’t be redeemed if you have not been lost and sold over that from which you need redemption.
Jesus had scars too. The nail holes were still there when he rose from the grave, as was the hole in his side from the spear that ripped his heart apart. He showed them off. He let his friends see them and touch them. His scars were a landmark, pointing to the most critical and necessary part of his journey – his death. If he hadn’t of died there would be no resurrection, no redemption, no hope, no life, no ascension.
Chill for a second. We all walk through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s on the path that leads to dwelling in the house of the lord forever. Without going through it, well, “you can’t get there from here.” Don’t worry about your scars. We all have them. Don’t hide them. Acknowledge them. They are an important part of your journey.