My mother loved ceramics and all things artistic. When I very young, she would go to my uncle’s house one night a week for classes in ceramics. Uncle Dave had his own kiln and potters wheels and ceramic molds, paints, brushes, sponges, and anything a ceramic hobbyist could dream of. His basement was off-limits to us when we were kids, but we’d sneak down there for a peek every now and then. I believe we had enough fear of getting caught that we didn’t dare venture too far from the stairway.
A few years ago as I was in the emotional flurry of having to finalize her affairs in life, I came upon a collection of delicate figurines that had survived the years of raising children, moving, and downsizing for retirement years.
Alone in her house, I sat on the floor going through a plethora of memories and experiencing flashbacks, seeing where she had displayed each one, aware of the surroundings, filled with memories too soon forgotten. But, even with tears filling my eyes, I couldn’t help but notice the details of her artwork. Oh, the hours she must have spent carefully planning and constructing each one! I carefully examined them in sheer amazement at her handiwork. I happened to turn one of them over and found that forever etched in each doll was her name—that ceramic figurine would forever bear her name.
Immediately I thought of Isaiah 49:16 … “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” The Lord has inscribed our name on the palm of His hands just like my mother engraved her name on the bottom of each ceramic creation, to remain there forever.
Have you ever held something in your hand so tightly that when you opened your hand, an imprint of that which you were holding remained? This is what the verse implies—He holds us so tightly that our imprint remains on His hand.
Life has its challenges, there’s no doubt. But, when the tears of grief sting your eyes and flow down your cheeks, when the pain of life’s circumstances weigh you down, when the unthinkable snatches the rug from underneath your feet, don’t forget to look for hidden treasures. If we dare to take our eyes off our situation and look closely through the eyes of the Spirit, we’re sure to find God is somewhere in the midst of it all. We’re forever before His eyes, not to be forgotten or overlooked. He is with us and very much aware of every detail of our lives.
Those ceramic figurines will not last forever. But, God’s love and careful attention to our every need will be with us always, for we are “engraved…on the palms of [His] hands.”
Father, I am amazed that You should pay such careful attention to each one of us, individually, uniquely, and specifically. It is difficult to fathom such a Great God whose love knows no bounds, whose watchful eyes overlooks no one. Your love is unfathomable! Thank You, Lord, for reminding me that even when I feel alone and overwhelmed, You are near…that I am indeed imprinted on the palm of Your hands and forever before You. What comfort! What peace! What love! Amen.
© Jan Ross
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