That’s You–Tattooed in the Middle of God’s Hand

 

 

What’s the clearest, most solid physical difference between generations? I
believe it’s whether or not you have a tattoo. Tattooing is noticeably today’s most
identifiable cultural phenomenon. Most people in my age group (defined as
traditionalists or baby boomers) don’t quite get the astonishing display of tattoos worn
by other generations—the Millenials (my grandchildren’s age) or Generation Xers (my
children’s age). I admit it; I’m getting better but some of my opinions about tattoos have
been rather stereotypical.

I guess that explains why I was so astonished to discover that God has a tattoo!

Don’t believe me? Check it out. In the King James Version of the Bible, this
passage in Isaiah begins with the word “behold.” God speaks with emphasis, as if to
say: Come here; hear this. This is important. Pay attention. You are about to be
surprised at what I’m going to tell you. Isaiah recorded God Himself speaking and
wrote—I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.

I met The Reverend Patricia Brock, Chaplain at the Southern Hills Medical
Center, on a day when she delivered the chapel meditation. I arrived early enough to
choose an unobtrusive seat along the wall; I wanted to be an observer. As service
started, nearly every seat filled with clinicians, hospital workers and volunteers.
Afterward, I asked Rev. Brock for her views about the spiritual side of healing. During
our conversation, she told me about God’s tattoo. A friend gave her a bookmark with
those words from Isaiah. “I needed to know that I am that close to God—that He loves
me that much,” she said. “Our hands say a great deal about us.”
So, God has a tattoo! And, just like everyone whose tattoo connects them with
someone they love or with something they favor, God’s tattoo is an image of you.

He placed it smack in the center of both His hands. Your image is engraved in the hollow
of God’s palms, on the flat of His hands. The Hebrew word in this passage, chaqaq,
means to cut in or to carve. Some translations refer to the imprint as being your name; I
prefer the interpretation that it’s an image of you.
In the midst of life’s challenges, our greatest fear is that God has forgotten us.
We fear that He doesn’t see the storms swirling around us. Do our storms even matter
to God? There you are, smack in the middle of a cyclone, and—like the disciples out on
the sea with Jesus—you wonder if the great God of the universe cares what happens to
you. Is He asleep? Is He preoccupied while you face a cataclysm?

The answer is in His tattoo: you are never out of God’s thoughts; you are
constantly on God’s mind. God says: Your image is ever before me because it is carved
on my hand. Your portrait is there, your imprint is permanent.

My son, Randy, has an amusing habit. Whenever he thinks he may forget
something important and doesn’t have a piece of paper, he writes a note to himself on
the palm of his hand. It may be a phone number, a short checklist, or even a sketch.
When Randy washes his hands, his notes are gone. But, you are not a temporary mark
on God’s hand; your image is perpetual, everlasting, enduring.

Know this: God has a wall of protection around you. This is evidence of how

precious you are to Him and the great affection He has for you. Not only does he place
His angels around us to guide us, but God Himself is our protection.

How comforting to know that, in all things, we are never, ever out of God’s sight or thoughts.

THE OPEN DOOR

Open Door

This is your year! God has plans for you to do great things in 2012.  These are the things He wants to accomplish through you.  The God Who is holy and true has set before you an open door.  Your job: take the first step; walk through the open door.  Entering in is both your spiritual privilege and opportunity.

During the Christmas holidays we had a family movie outing.  There were enough of us to fill an entire row at the theatre, plus one.  I think my son made the choice—Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise.  It was replete with explosions of the Kremlin and impossible, hold-your-breath-while-you-watch-this stunts on the skin of a superstructure in Dubai.  And, of course, the famous words:  “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”

Today, God is speaking those words to you.  He has given you a mission; accomplishing it is your choice.

When you see that door before you, know this: He is the One who opens every door of opportunity.  Entering in means growing in grace, in passion for Christ, in commitment to doing His work in our world and in giving Him all of the glory.  Your door was opened by the God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you have ever asked of Him…or even imagined that He would do for you.  Your future is unlimited.

It is God who opens the hearts of all whose lives you are meant to touch.  He opens your mouth to utter what He gives you to say.  He unfolds your talents, like the petals of an unfurling flower. He opens your mind to create words or actions that heal and give hope.  With today’s technology, he opens the door to the world. It is breathtaking to look at the data of my Twitter followers and Facebook fan page and see people from Singapore, Pakistan, Canada, France, The Bahamas, Australia.

How marvelous are the opportunities on the other side of an open door.

When Christ opens the door, your adversaries (seen and unseen) may want to slam it in your face.  They have no power to do so. You didn’t have the strength to open it; God opened it for you.  It’s for YOU.  It’s your door.  And “what God has for you, it is for you.”  No one can shut the door.  No one can restrict your admission, they cannot remove or deny your privilege to walk right in.

He is absolutely sovereign.  That means He is God all by Himself…superior, absolute, completely in charge of door shutting and opening. The opportunities God gives are independent of the will of other people and irresistible to their power. The manner in which God opens and closes doors is untouched by anyone who wishes you a different future.  When you walk through your open door, you probably won’t even know that there has been someone who wanted to block your path.  It doesn’t matter; His plan completely overrides the power of any adversary.

Don’t let go of your dreams. As of right now, all doubt is demolished.  All of your fears are gone.  The limits that locked you out are unshackled.

The door is open wide.  The prayer on my lips today is this:  Lord, if you will, please, open whatever door is before us, allowing us to fully utilize our gifts.

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no

one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept

my word and have not denied my name.                   

                                                                                      —Revelation 3:8