July 5, 2012
My Name is on God's Hand
"See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:16 (NLT)
How can we know for sure God is thinking about us today? There are so many people in this world, why would He be personally interested in us?
Not so long ago I was affected by something a pastor and his wife shared with me as we drove through the neighborhoods where they do inner-city missions work. Old cars littered the streets; warehouses with windows broken out were slashed by obscene graffiti, while unemployed men and women sat around lifelessly. The air was heavy with a lack of hope.
The pastor told me stories of his ministry in this area, working with the homeless and those with mental illness. One day, after he had preached a short sermon in a park about God's great love, a woman named Mae came up to him with drug-deadened eyes that couldn't hide her anguish. From Mae's story, it was clear she had been looking for love her whole life and had never found it.
She was abandoned by her father, had lived in poverty, been surrounded by drugs and alcohol from the earliest age, dropped out of school when she had several children by different fathers, and was now probably in her thirties with no life or hope.
She told the pastor, "I just don't know how God can love me." She felt small, lost in a sea of despair. How could God ever see her, know her, love her?
The pastor noticed she had written many notes to herself on the palm of her left hand and asked, "Why do you do that?"
"So I can remember things. I have such a hard time remembering things."
"Does that help?"
"Yes. If I have it on a piece of paper, I'll probably forget to look at it. But with the really important things, when it's written there, it's right in front of me so I see it and remember. I can't lose it or forget it."
The pastor looked at her with compassion. "Sister, that is what God says about you in the Bible. 'See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.' Mae, that means He's written your name on His hands. You are the really important thing to Him."
He took her hand and pointed to line after line of notes on her palm. "Just like these notes are right in front of you, God has your name always in front of Him. He is always thinking about you. Mae, an image of you is always on His mind. He loves you that much."
Mae burst into tears; great sobs released as she grasped the concept of how much God adored her. Not because she had done anything good, and in spite of everything she had done wrong. God had written her name on His hand.
We can hold onto that promise too.
Isn't it an amazing, glorious, freeing thing to realize God has our name engraved on His hand? He really sees us, cares about us, and knows us by name!
Dear Lord, I am constantly amazed at how great You are and yet still You remember me. It is amazing that You not only remember me, but You have engraved me on Your hand. Thank You for that assurance. Help me remember this truth on the days where I feel forgotten and unloved. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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Shaunti has an insightful guest post at Lysa TerKeurst's blog today that reveals some research you'll want to read! Click here to read more.
Reflect and Respond:
Memorize Isaiah 49:16a: "See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands." Then draw a simple picture of God's hands, palms up, outstretched. On one of the palms, write your name and a description that applies to you even though you may not always feel like it. For example: "Emily—daughter of the King," or "Keisha—beloved of God."
Keep that paper where you can see it, and whenever you look at it, thank God for His great love and ask Him to help you understand this truth.
Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that's what I had in mind for you." (MSG)
Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV)
© 2012 by Shaunti Feldhahn. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105