One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 49:16.
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before me.”
I love this scripture – it gives me comfort and it gives me joy and it keeps me focused on HOPE.
In the past few years I have grown to realize that I don’t want to just like a bible verse; I don’t want to simply enjoy scriptures; I want to LOVE what Christ is telling me in each and every individual word.
So for this one, let me break it down for you as it has settled into my heart recently and why I LOVE this scripture.
Behold – This word is used to garner attention. In today’s terms I can see Jesus saying “Hey, listen to THIS” or “I have GREAT news for you!” or “Get this awesome sauce!”
I have ENGRAVED you…….ENGRAVED. There is gravity in that. That is permanent! This isn’t just a “hey, I have a mark that reminds me of you” or “well look at that, isn’t that kinda cool.” This is an ACTION verb here folks. I have engraved you. I took action and PUT YOU PERMANENTLY somewhere. Permanently. Forever.
On the palms of my hands…..not engraved you on a coffee mug so I could occasionally look at you with admiration. Not engraved you on a plaque on my wall so I could be reminded of you when I walk past. Not engraved you on a necklace that I will probably never wear because it doesn’t match my outfit (that was for you ladies). Engraved you on the PALMS of my hands. How many times a day do you look at your hands? You use your hands every day! They are an instrument of doing.
Your walls are continually before me…….Now this one isn’t just a “well, if you have trouble, let me know and I will see what I can do.” This is your walls – the things that BLOCK YOU – that you have to figure out a plan around or a strategy to get beyond. And they are continually before me. Not a reactive statement but a proactive protection. I can see Jesus saying “I have got this before you even get there”
Now get this picture, Jesus is telling us, through this scripture, that He has engraved us permanently on His palms. He hung from the cross with nails through his hands. It is how He paid the price for us and that is a reminder of how much He loves us. And he chooses to keep that there forever and loves us so much He tells us “hey children, I’ve got you in my hands FOREVER. You cannot slip out of my hand, because you are engraved there. Letting go is not an option.” And then with those same hands, picture Jesus literally pushing a wall before you. Pushing it with what? HIS HANDS. His hands where YOU are ENGRAVED! What a beautiful picture of Him doing through us. That’s what we are striving for – getting out of the way and letting God do His thing through us, right? And here He paints a picture (for me) of Him pushing my obstacles away – always before me as I simply follow and He is pushing with ME because I am on the very hands He uses to accomplish this.
Humbled that I am forever engraved in my Maker’s hands and that He has always got my back. Always. He has it before I even get there. He is continually before me. Continually – which means neverending.
By His stripes we are healed…..