• Health & Beauty Inspiration

    Battle Scars That Do Not Disappear

    Sometimes (if I can just be honest), many of us desire a gospel that is way too pretty.

    It seems like no one today really wants the battle scars and wounds that often come along with having victory in Christ. Many of us desire to go through life unscathed and untouched; void of any evidence that we have been in the fight.

    In my journey with weight management, I endured arguably the toughest season of my life; when I was really heavy there was so much shame because everybody could see the pain, the anxiety, the fear, and the loneliness I felt because it showed up around my waistline.

    As a child, I was often alienated and picked on. Many of my peers called me sissy and gay because my mannerisms reflected the world I understood which was richly influenced by nurturing women. And since I didn’t have a man in my life I could respect and wanted to model, I emulated the women in my life and patterned my life after feminine expressions.

    (Sidenote – Please know that every young man raised by single mothers doesn’t have the same experience. Single mothers, we are proud of you! Love you mommy!)

    This devotional is especially for those readers out there who believe that their testimony is not as pretty, neat, or tidy as those others tend to brag about. I used to struggle and feel ostracized with that same feeling. Until I read about someone who once shared my story.

    In Genesis 32:22-32v, you will find the story of Jacob and the struggle he has one night with God. A struggle and a wrestling match that ultimately left him with a testimony.

    I define testimony as an indelible impression and proof that God has COME to you and God is NEAR you. A testimony is evidence that God Almighty has had His hand in and on your life, and what a heavy hand our God has!! When presses down upon our lives, God’s hand tends to break up those things we have relied upon for so long.

    That’s what happened to Jacob. God touched Jacob and his human frailty and weakness was exposed. And when that experience passed, Jacob was left with a clear reminder that he had been with God.

    A limp.

    {Come on God, a limp that everybody can see? Aren’t you Jehovah Rophe, my healer? You’re supposed to make the symptoms disappear, not create new ones!!}

    I can just imagine poor old Jacob after returning from that encounter with God. The taunts. The stares. The endless barrage of questions like, “What’s wrong with Him? Why does he “walk” like that? You know Jacob, you can go to the doctor and get that fixed?”

    Perhaps today you may be struggling with the fact you’re not like everyone else, or that everywhere you go and walk, you feel the effects of a constant struggle with God.

    You’re slower than everyone else.
    It takes more effort for you to progress on your journey.
    If so, understand that your limp serves as crucial evidence that God is near.

    Like Jacob, you share a special experience with God that can always serve as a reference point of when He met you, blessed you and confirmed your identity. If you are in a struggle today, your weakness is evidence that God has come to you and He has touched you.

    Do not allow others’ perception of you make you feel unworthy.

    We serve a Savior that had to endure a few struggles of His own. The nails in His hands and wounds in His side are evidence that He also experienced pain just as we do.

    But despite His scars, He overcome death, hell, and the grave.

    To all those struggling as they read this devotional today, know that as long as you stay in the struggle, so will God. Embrace your testimony now.

    Cory Bradley serves as the worship leader for New Birth Charlotte, where Pastor Terrell Murphy serves as Senior Pastor. Cory, who has worked with artists such as LaDonna Mole and William Murphy III, is an emerging worship leader and a explorer of the transformative power worship can have in every believer. For more information about Cory, be sure to visit New Birth Charlotte.

    (c) Cory Bradley

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