By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“If you give it to God, He transforms your test into a testimony, your mess into a message, and your misery into a ministry.”
– Rick Warren
My car isn’t necessarily in mint condition. There’s a scratch on the side from where I scraped against a truck’s trailer hitch. A scrape on the mirror from when I pulled into my garage a little off-kilter. There’s a dented bumper and a broken taillight from the time I was in a hit-and-run in Nashville. There’s countless dings and nicks across the side from who knows what.
I always giggle every time my dad passes my car because even though he doesn’t own the car anymore, he can’t help but inspect the new scratches, rub them with his thumb, and offer a concerned grunt. I remember one time, he was observing all the dings and scrapes and said, “Every scratch is a story.”
Isn’t the same thing true of our lives? Every time life trips us up, every time a situation hits us while we’re down, when we are faced with a discouraging situation, it’s like another dent, another ding, another scratch on our surface.
I wish I could say that God is like the body shop. He takes our broken and dented surface and buffs out the imperfections, covering it up with a nice shiny coat of paint. But God doesn’t hide our hurt. He doesn’t mask our pain. He doesn’t forget our disappointments or our failures.
Instead, I think that God is like the car dealer looking at an old, beat-up clunker. The side-view mirror is gone. The paint is scratched. The upholstery is torn. The side window has been replaced with a trash bag. He looks at the car, and says, “I want it. It’s priceless.”
You see, every scratch on our door is a story. Every dent in our bumper is a testimony. Every broken taillight is a story of God’s faithfulness. The missing headlight speaks of God’s grace.
I was an old, beat up, scratched up, car. And yet God wanted me. He used me. He chose me. He had a plan for me.
I have a lot of people that share their scratches with me. They tell me about the latest dent to their door. Their newest crack in the windshield. Some people come to me and tell me that they are pretty well left with a totaled car. At the end of my conversation with them, I always pray, “God, will you let this season of their life, be a part of their testimony. I pray that weeks from now, they will look back on this time and will tell of your faithfulness and goodness in the midst of a difficult situation.”
I believe that God can take even the trashiest, broken-down, useless car and make it a testament to the kind of God He is. I believe there is no dent too deep, or scrape to big to less our value in God’s eyes. In fact, I think God sees the value in our scratches, dings, and scrapes.
Why? Because every scratch is a story.