I have always liked the month of February. After long, dark winter days, spring begins to make an appearance as crocuses pop their colorful heads out of the ground and cheery daffodils grace our flowerbeds. Sunlight starts to linger past 5 o’clock in the evening. Then there’s Valentine’s Day: the over-commercialized “holiday of love” on February 14th. But it’s always been more than that to me.
Having a birthday on Valentine’s Day is fun. Flowers and candy everywhere - love is in the air. Unexpected surprises when I was younger - now thoughtful gifts from family and friends. Most birthdays have been filled with blessing - a few tinged with pain. But through it all, God chooses this day of the year to reveal threads of His character and my true identity in Him.
In Isaiah 49:14-16, God is speaking to His people, holding up a mirror to reveal lies they have believed about themselves. Forgotten. Forsaken. Looking at the circumstances, this was apparently a logical conclusion. But God says it’s impossible. Even if a mother could forget her nursing child (trust me, they can’t) God won’t forget us.
“See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” I’ve been meditating on this phrase all month. An inscription is usually carved or engraved on a hard substance like metal or stone. Can you imagine having something engraved on the palm of your hand? Cutting, painful, bleeding, leaving permanent scars. And yet, this is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross.
My next question is: what does the inscription look like? What name or image is God painstakingly engraving on His hands? Sometimes I need to reject the false identities before I can see the truth. And there’s an aspect of corporate identity here, too. God is speaking to Zion, to Jerusalem, His chosen people. Their broken down city walls were always before Him. Always in His mind. Always in His heart. Always in His hands.
I encourage you to meditate on these verses. What have you been believing about yourself or the Body of Christ that is false? Ask God to show you the true name or image inscribed on His hands. One of my favorite sayings is, “You can’t give away what you don’t have.” May God refresh and revive His people with truth and love that overflows to everyone around us.
A good song for meditation: “I Am Your Beloved” by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser. https://youtu.be/lcSqRkpeQyM
~ Jen Hanson