Monday, October 4, 2010

Do you have the marks of a beast?

Now that I have your attention, let me explain. The title of the post was "do you have the marks of A beast", not THE beast. If I were to talk about the marks of the beast (666) that could take all day and probably make my mind turn to mush.

The type of beast I am talking about is a bit different. In fact, a good kind of beast.

You see, "beast" is a term my children commonly use when they are referring to someone or something that is great. Teenage lingo at its finest.

Yesterday we were enjoying a leisurely Sunday afternoon, after a busy, busy weekend. However, after a few hours of this leisure, my son Michael had apparently had enough leisure time, and deep boredom set in.

In our life of constant movement and activity, it is hard for the kids to just sit and do nothing and be content! So Michael meandered out to the garage to get a change of scenery and try to find something to do, and after being gone for a few minutes, came back inside with his football helmet.

He sat down beside me and started pointing out all of the scars and marks on his helmet. Scars and marks which had resulted from awesome tackles, tangles with other players, helmets crashing together, and piles of football players on top of each other.

Then he said, "These are my marks, mom. I got these marks because I am a beast (interpretation: great football player). Nobody can take credit for these marks because they are all mine. Even if somebody else uses my helmet one day, they are still my marks. Im proud of these marks!"

I just thought that was so cute. His 'marks' were a symbol of his hard work, his dedication to the sport, and his love of the game. His 'marks' were a symbol of who he was and what he had accomplished, and he was proud of them. Even though some of those 'marks' had brought bumps, bruises, or pain, he was proud of them. They were his helmet scars. And he was a beast.

His comment got me to thinking, about my marks. About my scars. About the pain and suffering that accompanied some of those marks and scars. But also about the accomplishments and joy that I have received from those marks and heart scars too.

The only difference is, that I am not necessarily proud of my "marks".

I would gladly give up those marks to someone else. I would gladly not take credit for them. I would gladly like to pretend they were not there, or that the situation that caused a certain "mark" never really happened.

However, as I consider how God has healed my heart from the damage those "marks" originally caused, a smile comes to my face.

When I think of the magnitude of Gods mercy and grace, and how much He loves me - despite me - my heart is filled with joy, because in all honesty, sometimes I wonder how God can see past all my "marks", and still love me.

My only regret now, is that I allowed my "marks" to keep me from understanding the depth of His love for way too long; that I allowed those "marks" to be a barrier between me and God for many years. Thank goodness, and thank Jesus, for the day that I finally realized the truth - that He loved me, and my "marks".

My sons simple comment about his football helmet, prompted me to remember that marks really can be beautiful. Marks really can be something to be proud of.

Most importantly, those marks are ours alone. Those marks make up who we are. Those marks are reminders of not only where we have been, but what we have become. Those marks are a symbol of our love for our life, how much God loves us, and our willingness to persevere.

And hopefully, those "marks" can be a vivid reminder of not only pain, suffering, sin or poor choices, but of forgiveness, healing, redemption, grace, mercy and power.

They are a reminder that God either caused or allowed those marks to occur, but that He can use every type of mark in every individual person, to draw us closer to Him, and to bring glory to Him if we are willing to allow Him to use those marks to His glory.

Think about what "marks" you are carrying around in your heart today.

If you have never asked God to forgive you for your "marks", to help you see the value and purpose in your "marks", or to heal you from your "marks", then spend some time talking to God about those "marks" today. Ask Him to open your heart and enable you to embrace the purpose He has for those "marks" in your life. Ask Him to help you see the beauty that He sees in you.

Embrace the healing and love that Jesus holds for you, despite your marks - and think about those marks in a new light today..........

Just maybe, what you think are "marks", could actually be Gods fingerprints on your life.

In fact, with all those beautiful marks, you can call yourself a beast too (interpretation: beautiful child of God).

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