When our son was in his late teens, tattoos were all the rage—as they continue to be. So he headed to the local tat parlor to have a biohazard sign emblazoned on his left arm. He thought it was really cool.A year later, however, he grew tired of it: “This thing is forever!” So back he went to his favorite skin artist to change it. The only solution: a large and beautiful Celtic cross. “Awesome,” I responded. “Now you are branded for Jesus for the rest of your life.”
Of course, I’m still waiting for that tat to become a symbol of a bond slave completely yielded to the Savior. There are days or months or even years that look like that is happening. And surely--and gratefully--he is well past the wanton prodigalness of the past.
In my waiting, I have spent some hours in Isaiah, my go-to book at such times. From Chapter 40 through to the end, God repeatedly speaks words of hope and encouragement to me as He spoke to the children of Israel about to come out of captivity. Here are a few of those words:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine…. Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:1,18,19)
This is what the Lord says--your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea. (Isaiah 44:17-18)
“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.… I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
“Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed….Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce?...Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.” (Isaiah 49:23-25)
But here is the verse I really hang on to. Our son may have a cross tattooed on his arm, but Jesus has him tattooed on His hands:
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…” (Isaiah 49:16)
So I wait with hope, and occasional despair, until Jesus gains all of his heart, his mind, his life.
May the truth that your loved one is engraved on his palms give you peace.
What about you? Is there someone you need to remember is “engraved on his palms”?
C2012 Judy Douglass