Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed a bruise or cut and wondered where that came from? As the years I spend on this revolving sphere increase I am finding it easier and easier to accumulate scars. I am also finding it more difficult to remember where they all came from. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As you walk through the garage at the end of the race you see the evidence of running the race all around. Some machines have barley a scrape. Some need significant repair even to get them in the trailer. Some are just done, off to the scrap heap. The scars tell a story, the story of the encounters each faced on the way to the checkered flag.

It has been said that before you can win you have to first learn how to finish. Finishing requires that you don’t accumulate scars that would prevent you from continuing to race. Realizing that every battle on the track isn’t the one to end your race is important. Battles are significant but it is the race we came here to win.

I stood in the starters stand the other day and watched as the cars rolled by. Each one unique. Each one had its battle scars. Some teams like to start fresh each race and repair the scars so their chariot looks new. Some just hammer them out, tape it up, secure the sheet metal and head back into battle. I can appreciate those that show the scars of battle. There is a story there.

As I watched I wondered, how did that happen? Wow, I bet that one hurt. Never seen that before. Each scar tells a story, the reminder of a battle waged. It is in those stories that we learn the road each of us have walked. Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. I’d encourage you to stop by the pit stall of a car with battle scars and talk with the driver. He’ll tell you the story and it just might surprise you.

We are no different from race cars, we all have our battle scars. While we run our race there are bumps and bruises that come along. We have some that we remember well. Others not so well. The fact remains that in life we will accumulate scars; some physical, some mental, some spiritual, but all remind us of the life we have lived.

Maybe a hitch in our giddy up, or a limb that doesn’t want to work right. Some may not be able to count to ten on their fingers because one or two might be missing. These are the physical indications that we have been through some trying times. Then there are the scars we can’t see, the ones we hide from the world. I wish there was a way for people to see and understand those battles. They are real and each of us battle with them. I encourage you to be compassionate towards one another. Remember we all have battle scars that are hidden from view.

Scars reveal a story or two. I am reminded of one about a young boy who wandered too close to the alligator pond. In a flash he was snatched up. He yelled and screamed. His mother came running and grabbed a hold of him and a tug of war pursued. A passing farmer heard the screams and with his gun ended the struggle. As the boy recovered in the hospital everyone wanted to see the scars the alligator left but the boy wanted to show them something else. He wanted them to see the scars his mother left on his arms refusing to let go. He would smile and proclaim, these show how much she loves me.

As we look forward to the day we dwell in the house of the Lord and all our hurts and pains are removed will any scars remain to remind us of the love someone showed for us? Did you realize that Christ, in His glorified body, kept the scars he received on the cross, not all the ones he endured but the significant ones, the ones he received from the nails and sword? Have you ever wondered why?

In John chapter 20 we read about the resurrection and Jesus appearing to His disciples. One encounter with Thomas helps us understand why the scars remained.

John 20:26-29; NIV; A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus knew that some would not believe unless he had the physical evidence of His sacrifice. There is a little doubting Thomas in each one of us. Sometimes we do not realize the sacrifice someone is willing to make for us. We also fail to realize the physical and emotional scars we inflict on others. We need to understand that sometimes we are responsible for the scars others carry.

So how do we deal with our scars?

First, remember that someone, Christ, endured the cross for our sin. He carries the scars of battle and wants us to remember that He loved us so much he willingly received them.

Second, the scars we carry can be forgiven and removed by the same one who gave His life for us. We only need to ask him and he is faithful to forgive.

Third, we need to be aware of the scars we inflict on others. We need to adjust our actions and words to reflect the character of God, then we will inflict less scars.

The Golden rule comes to mind; “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.”

We need to develop more compassion, kindness, and graciousness. That is the only way to turn this thing around. Good produces good, evil produces evil. Evil cannot produce good and likewise goodness and mercy will minimize the scarring of others.

Consider those who have received scars because of their love for you, acknowledge that and thank them. Try to live in a way that demonstrates the character of God; loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.

By living life with the same attitude as Christ we can make a difference. He willingly endured the cross because of the love he had for us. He has the scars to prove it.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.