Do you have any stretch marks? I know this is a personal question but when people gain weight or when women are pregnant, there is a mark that is likely to appear on their skin when it has been stretched beyond its original intent. This mark is called a STRETCH MARK. The American Heritage Online Medical Dictionary defines stretch mark in this way: A shiny line on the skin of the abdomen, breasts, thighs, or buttocks caused by the prolonged stretching of the skin and weakening of elastic tissues, as in pregnancy or obesity. Now, these marks on the body are not the kind of marks that I have ever heard anyone brag about in the way that someone might brag about a new tattoo or piercing. No one that I know is excited about having stretch marks. In fact, I am pretty sure that erasing such marks is on their TO DO list.
A stretch mark is a clue ON your body that something has changed. A stretch mark is a clue ON your body that something is different. A stretch mark is a clue ON your body that there has definitely been some kind of change IN your body and your skin has thereby stretched in order to accommodate what has happened within. Now, we may not ever see the exact moment when the stretch mark appears, but when it does appear, it indicates that there has been a change which has caused you to grow out of a place where you once were. Obviously, the type of growth that one experiences in that season might be painful or it might be pleasurable but whether it was painful or pleasurable, men and women can end up with the same type of marks ON their bodies. Stretch marks are physical marks that prove that growth has taken place over the course of time.
Do you have any stretch marks? I am not asking you to strip and check for such indications ON your own body. [Although if you have them, you are probably clear that you do and are unlikely to admit it. :-)] But I AM asking you to do an internal check-up for stretch marks you have received as a result of your growth in this season of waiting. Is there any external indication through your attitude, your spiritual disciplines, your participation in worship that something is changing on the inside of you? Do you have any stretch marks? While you are waiting, are you growing UP in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
I have stretch marks. YES, I will admit it. I do. I have the badges of honor that prove that I have been stretched, that I have grown in ways that YOU may not ever see. I have experienced life in ways that have changed me through pain and through pleasure. I have stretch marks. Now, I am not about to post a picture of my stretch marks [the stock pic above from Google images will suffice (LOL)]; but My Creator knows they are there and I know they are there and I am under no obligation to prove that I have them. My stretch marks prove that I have been through things that pushed me beyond what I thought was my limit into a place where trust in God was [and still is] my highest priority. Some people might say that my stretch marks are ugly or that I should find some over the counter product or prophet in order to rectify my situation but I choose to think of my stretch marks as beautiful reminders that I am growing in ways that not even I can see. I am growing in ways that may never be apparent to the natural eye. I am growing in a variety of ways over a prolonged period of time and it remains to be seen what my God will do within me exceeding abundantly above what I may ask or think.
One thing that I am clear about during this period of waiting and stretching, is expressed in Psalm 62:
My soul, wait thou only upon God;for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
In other words, as I wait to hear from God, there are ways that I expect to grow and be changed. As I am transformed, I have the blessed assurance of knowing that GOD is my rock, my salvation, my defense, my stabilizer, my glory, my strength, and my refuge. I like how The Message Bible puts it:
GOD IS MY SAFE PLACE TO BE!
So, while you may insult or criticize my stretch marks, I will pray for you but I will NOT dwell on you because my expectation is from Him and by His grace and mercy, I have been honored with these marks to prove that I AM HIS OWN. AND while I am waiting to step into the next realm of the Master’s plans for my life, I am open to receive whatever changes in my life - including stretch marks - that are necessary in order to prepare me and to prove to me that my wait is NOT in vain.
BlogFam, GROW ON!
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END OF YEAR REMINDER - R.E.D. ALERT!!! - REFLECT - EVALUATE - DECIDE [Click Here to Go To Earlier Post]
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P.S. - BlogFam, I NEED your prayers and support - On SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, I will launch the KIDS KORNER Radio program. It will be a moment to spotlight the children and youth [and youth ministers] of our community! PLEASE tune in ONLINE at http://www.wigoam.com at 5:15pm AND let me know you are listening!!!