The story is told of a king who had a beautiful gem that he prized above all else. It was very valuable and very expensive. But one day, to his horror, the king discovered a scratch on his beautiful stone. Immediately he sent messengers to every corner of his kingdom offering a huge reward to anyone who could come and remove the scratch.
One by one, jewellers came to examine the stone, only to tell the sad and worried king that nothing could be done. It was damaged. One day an artisan came to the palace and heard about the king’s problem. He looked at the stone and announced to a stunned court that he could repair the king’s gem.
He took his tools and the gem into another room and not long after came out, triumphant with the gem in his hand. What had he done that others could not do? When the king looked at his beloved gem, he was amazed to see the scratch was still there, but this special craftsman—the artisan—had etched a rose at its top, so the scratch had become the stem of a beautiful flower.
Our Emotional Scratches
I think there are quite a few lessons in this story, but I think it’s more like a parable that reflects life, and the path we all take. You and I have been given the gift of life with many facets. Life’s challenges create scratches that appear on the surface of our life, and we feel all is lost. We feel helpless and damaged. Maybe that’s how you feel today—someone who is damaged and without hope. There’s no doubt life throws you around; it gives you scratches, cuts, burns, bumps and bruises.
Most of the unpleasant things that happen to us are like bruises or minor scrapes to our spirits, but at some time or another most of us experience a deep wound or serious injury to our spirit. We can’t always keep ourselves from being hurt. It often starts at school when we are bullied or ostracised.
Like minor injuries to our bodies that leave a bruise but only hurt for a short while, most of our daily annoyances may annoy or upset us for a while—but are usually forgotten fairly quickly. We know they will eventually heal. When we suffer a serious physical injury, we go immediately to a doctor who can check it out. We have the wound cleansed and properly bandaged so that it’s protected, and sometimes need to have it checked regularly to make sure it’s healing properly. Even then, it may take some time to heal.
This is an illustration of how our spiritual wounds can heal with faith, prayer, and proper care. Faith is a constant reminder that there is a God who continues to walk with us. Our belief in a loving God doesn’t take the scratch away, but it gives us the rose on top of the scratch. God is an expert at bringing good out of bad.
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He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi but instead he let Paul go to prison and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross but he let him go—his own Son—he let him suffer and die. Did he bring any good out of that? I’d say he did!
(Read Scratches in Life – Part 2)