I want to share a little story with you in today's post. It's not a story about me. It is, though, a story that's personal for me. That's because it illustrates an aspect of this life of mine that is very important to me: my belief in, and relationship with, a loving being who created me. So if you're the kind of person who enjoys such topics, or who enjoys learning about what others think and believe, I invite you to continue reading. If you're someone who doesn't, you are still invited but no hard feelings if you decide to skip this post. Please come back again to check out the next one, which is about something completely different.
Coming into relationship with the Divine changed my life in many good ways. But I often think that faith is made overly complicated, or barricaded by erroneous requirements that make peace and joy in God's love nearly unattainable. Sometimes, too, people have a misconception that it is attainable only for those who are “good enough.”
While visiting a church I heard the testimony of a young mother that speaks very plainly and simply. She had been trying to teach her little daughter about how much Jesus loved her. At every opportunity, she explained in simple language how he gave himself for her on the cross so that the child could be free from sin and its burden, and have forgiveness and eternal life in a happy and holy place.
One day the child came to her mother and said with wide-eyed exuberance, “Mommy! Mommy! Jesus has something written on His hand. Do you know what it is?”
“What is it?” asked the mother, eager to hear about her daughter’s discovery.
“It’s Haley! It’s my name!” she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling with delight. She raised her own little hand to her mother’s face and, pointing to her palm for emphasis, explained, “He wrote it there with the nail that held His hand on the cross.”
The mother’s eyes welled up with tears as she realized the Holy Spirit had revealed to the opening mind of her daughter what is meant in Isaiah 49:15-16: “Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”
And that is just how much Jesus loves each and every soul, even before that soul ever takes a breath. God doesn't consent to enter into a relationship with someone because they are good enough. He loves us enough that he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, hoping that we would consent to a relationship with him.
God loves you and cannot ever forget about you. He remembers the very moment you were conceived. He knows the life you’ve lived. Every tear you’ve ever cried has been gathered up in His bottle. He knows the pain you’ve felt, the burdens you’ve carried, the trials you’ve been through, the sins you’ve committed. And none of it has diminished His love for you one iota. His love is genuine, true and steadfast. You can never mess up so badly that He won’t love you or can’t forgive you. He is with you even when you are so overwhelmed by numbing circumstances that you can’t see or hear Him. And through it all, He is working.
If you aren't in a relationship with Him, I encourage you to get to know Him. Being in a love relationship makes the good better and the bad bearable. The same is true for a relationship with the Divine. He will give you comfort, strength and help. He will bring blessings out of losses, pick you up when you stumble, turn your weakness into strength and give you beauty for ashes. He has promised, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” He has, indeed, graven you on the palms of His hands.