The only song I know of that has been written about football and nominated for a Grammy was recorded in 1977 by recording artist Bobby Bare. It may be the corniest song ever nominated for a Grammy, too. It was entitled, "Dropkick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life."
There are times for all of us when we're feeling dropkicked through life, when life is hard and difficult. However, as we've said before, it's not because Jesus is giving us those things; they're just part of what happens in life. Sometimes they're the consequences of our own decisions; sometimes it's what happens to our bodies; sometimes it's what is happening in the broader world. It's not that God is making all these horrible things happen to us, but what we believe is that somehow God can work in the midst of them to bring about a victory from the agonizing defeats of life. The pain in our lives, when put in God's hands, can actually be used to bring about something good and beautiful that can end up as a surprising victory.
It's not that the pain always goes away; there are circumstances we sometimes must walk through which are so hard that, though the pain may lessen, we will always continue to carry the loss with us. However, I have seen instances in which the pain and adversity we've experienced become the instrument God uses to lead one day to victory. I call these "victories with scars."
I don't know what your scars are, but I know you have them. I think about Jesus when he was resurrected out of the tomb. He was made whole again, yet we know from Scripture (the gospel of John, chapter 20) that Jesus still had the scars in his hands, his feet, and his side. Surely God could have taken away the scars; but maybe God wanted us to know that our scars can become instruments of victory if we allow God to use them in that way.
Are you using your scars from the past, your pain from the past? Can you share with people who are walking through a journey right now that you've been on before? Are you willing to allow God to use you to help other people? When you do that, it becomes a victory, not only for them, but for you as well. That's why I have come to know there really is such a thing as "victories with scars."
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas