A devotional by Amy Odland
“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 hand; your walls are ever before me.”
–Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)
–Isaiah 49:15-16 (NIV)
Do you have a tattoo?
Tattoos are usually a pretty taboo topic amongst Christians, especially with earlier generations.
Nowadays there is judgment on both sides, whether you have one or don’t, the reasoning behind getting a tattoo or what they symbolize, etc.
It used to be that it was the hardened criminal or biker dude kind of individual pictured when talk of having or getting a tattoo came up. Nowadays there are worship leaders and suburban moms sporting tattoos. They are becoming more and more common in the church and if you attend a hipster church, you may even feel pressure to get a tattoo to fit in.
Usually tattoos have some kind of meaning to them: a remembrance of someone lost, a reminder of a battle won, or a symbol of a new beginning. They can be small and easily hidden or they can cover a whole portion of the body. The Guinness Book of World Records holder for the most tattoos has 91.5% of her body covered in tattoos!
Here’s the thing: No matter what your stance is on tattoos as a Christian, something you probably haven’t ever heard in church is the fact that God has you “tattooed” on his hand.
The word “engraved” in Hebrew in the verse above means to cut, to set, to inscribe or engrave, as in cutting into something (picture the commandments being cut on the stone tablets) or setting something into law (as in inscribing laws on a scroll). Engraving something onto stone or wood requires tools that cut and chip away; engraving something onto your skin would require cutting or burning it badly enough that it scars.
Tattoos are a little different in that they use pigment to highlight the scarring caused by the needles, but the same result is produced: a “permanent” mark on the skin is left. Modern tattoos are painful enough they scare off people with lower levels of pain tolerance, imagine how painful the older, more barbaric forms of tattooing and engraving would have been.
Have you paid attention recently to how sensitive the palms are?
They can tell you when something is hot and going to burn you, when you are feeling the softest of textures, or when you feel pleasure by holding hands with your loved one.
The most experienced tattoo enthusiasts know the palms are one of the more highly sensitive areas of the body and thus should be avoided when considering where to place a tattoo – as an example, the world record holder I mentioned above doesn’t have ANY tattoos on her palms. God says He has placed a remembrance of you right there on one of the most sensitive and one of the more painful areas we know. He has cut and set your name right there in His palms.
When things are hard and overwhelming, when it feels like you are forgotten and invisible, remember that God has done this to remember YOU.
God has you ever before him, engraved on His Hands. He is always reminded of you and will never forget you. Isaiah recorded God’s promise of this long before the nails had been driven into Jesus Christ’s Hands. God has your name tattooed on His palms and Jesus has holes in His. Both God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son have scars on their hands for you.
Live like you are loved and remembered, friend, because you are by the One (God) who holds the whole world in His Hands!
Amy Odland has been serving in church ministry as a volunteer leader for over 16 years, in various worship, prayer and women’s ministry roles.
Her passion for helping women stems from her own struggles and lessons learned in her journey as a Christian since first deciding to follow the Lord in 1994.
Amy’s priorities after her faith include her family — husband Rick, and their four kids — as well as extended family who all live close in proximity and the many friends she’s made over the years.
In addition to a love of teaching and helping her husband with the bookkeeping for their many businesses, Amy has recently expanded her stay-at-home work to include leading author’s book launch teams for publishing companies like Baker, Revell, Barbour, and Lifeway.
She also enjoys teaching new authors about platform building, self-launching, and online marketing.
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