Healing In The Holes

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24

As my little girl slept off her fever while curled up on me, the only thing I could do stuck on the couch was stare out the window. A big tree with a gaping hole caught my eye, and I started to feel pity for that tree. Why did that tree have a hole? Trees aren't meant to have holes, they're meant to be whole.

It was more of a question to God regarding my own situation: why does my baby girl have a fever? Baby girls aren't meant to have fevers and be sad and tired, they're meant to run and play and laugh. Then I thought that particular tree closely resembled the one from Little E’s book we just read about owls. The owl lived in a hole in a tree, just like the one in front of me. The hole provided a home. The tree's scar was another's safe place.

As much as we yearn to be whole and as much as I was angry at God for things being broken and hurt, we can’t go back to the Garden of Eden. We can’t even move forward on our own. It is God who creates each new day, and the only thing we can do is take the healing He offers right now, the healing He has already provided through the wounds of Christ on the cross. 

Like An Owl In A Tree

Like an owl making its home in a knotted, holy tree, may we seek the Lord as our refuge and rest. May we find a hiding place in Jesus’s wounds, not because they are a reminder of sinful men's murderous deeds,but because they tell of God’s love in sacrificing His Son on the cross. His wounds remind us that Jesus was willing to become flesh and blood and willing break his body so we can find healing in his hurt.

So now when I look at that hole in the tree, I still see sadness and brokenness, but I also see God making a way. I can see the hole as a home, a place for healing. I can see the sadness in Jesus’s face too, but I also see Him extending His scarred hands to me, the only place I ever will belong. 

Pity to Provision

In response, may the Lord change my pity and disdain for scars into a compassionate opportunity to provide for another. He bore our sins on the tree so we might die to sin and live to righteousness. May the Lord be a resting place of healing for you and I. He knows what wounds feel like, and his wounds can heal. Dear reader, find healing in the holes. Jesus is waiting for you.

As I wrote this, Jon Foreman's song I Am Still Running played in my head. May it be a soul soundtrack for you too when you're struggling with the scars of your own life:

You remember me
Before I learned to run
At the kissing tree
Before I learned my guns
We were 17
17 years young

I am still running, I am still running

I had no idea
The pain would be this strong
I had no idea
The fight would last this long
In my darkest fears
The rights become the wrong

I am still running, I am still running

Build me a home
Inside your scars
Build me a home
Inside your song
Build me a home
Inside your open arms
The only place I’ll ever belong