Just recently the scripture Isaiah 49: 14-16 has been in my thoughts a lot: “I will never forget you. Your name is carved in the palm of my hand.”

It started when a friend confided to me that she was in an abusive marriage. One Sunday morning she brought her very lively little girl with her to church, so I knew something was wrong as the little girl usually stays with her dad. That is when she confessed to me that her husband was verbally abusive and she was becoming increasingly scared of him. They had really fought that morning so she felt she could not leave her child with her angry husband. She felt she needed to distance herself from the situation so she came to church even though she felt that God had abandoned her. That God had forgotten all about her and her situation. I then reminded her of what the prophet Isaiah had said: “I will never forget you. Your name is carved in the palm of my hand.” That seemed to have brought her some comfort that morning. Enough comfort that she could start to figure out what she should do next.

A family member last month received the news that he has leukemia just as he is starting his retirement. Those golden years they keep telling us about. Bad news like that is distressing especially when you think you are fine - just a little tired. But there is a thank you God part to this. Thanks for modern medicine. Thanks for routine blood work that signals something is wrong with your body. Thanks for efficient Doctors who get right to work admitting you to hospital to start the series of tests that come up with the answer - Leukemia. Not good news but when it is followed with “we will start chemo right away” we can once again say thank you for living in a country where our treatment doesn’t depend on how much money we have in the bank, and we live in a country where such tests and treatments are more readily available.

Even when we don’t think God is with us he is in all the people that surround us to help us when things go wrong.

We easily forget when things happen to us that we are God’s beloved children and we are inscribed on the palm of His hands. Not just written down but carved into God’s hands. There is a hymn that always leaves me feeling loved and comforted every time we sing it: Psalm 91, “On Eagle’s wings.” The refrain goes, “and He will lift you up on Eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand.” It is such a descriptive hymn that I can’t help but feel uplifted every time I sing it.

So take your hands right now. Hold them in the form of a cup. Imagine that you hold in your hands a baby sparrow. How gently you would hold and take care of that tiny bird that is how God holds us in the palm of His hand. You are precious to God. You have not been forgotten. God has carved you in the palm of His hands.

Let us pray:
God you love us way more than we can ever imagine. We want to thank you so much for loving us enough to write our names on the palm of your hand. It is so reassuring to know that you will never, ever forget us. You are the mother who never forgets us. You are the father that will always be there for us. We offer you now the prayer Jesus taught us to say, Our father………

Carolyn Ruda

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