by Pastor Mark Jordan
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16, NIV)
I have a scar on my left hand. I got it when I was a teenager and carelessly flipped baking potatoes in the oven without the use of a protective hand covering. You see, while turning the tater, my hand grazed the heating element of the oven, and I was forever sealed by that decision.
As we read today’s passage from Isaiah, it is a message from God to the prophet about how He hasn’t forgotten Israel in its exile from the Promised Land. The poor decisions of the people led to their disarray, but God promised to restore them. He even went as far as to say He carries a branding of Israel — for better and worse — on the palm of His hands in remembrance of His Chosen People.
The same is true for you and me thanks to the wounds in Jesus’ hands. When He went to the cross and died for you and me, He removed everything that could separate us from God’s eternal love. Now, you can know you are His for the better or worse of your life. God chose the nails to bind us all to Him for eternity.
Do you feel the scars on your life discredit you from God’s love? They don’t. Do you fear that your wayward behavior has left you too far away to be able to return home? It doesn’t. God made you, loves you, and longs to be with you. He can never forget you, because you are seared on His heart, mind, and hands forever. Believe it!
Prayer: Dear Lord, I long for your forgiveness. I confess I fall so short so often, and fear the scars of my mistakes prevent me from the closeness you long to enjoy with me. Help me to know you love me in spite of myself, and want to restore me to the purpose for which I am created: an eternal relationship with you. I ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.