March 08, 2012


Isaiah 49:13-16

I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
—Isaiah 49:16


Today’s verse is often misquoted as “I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands.”

Actually the word picture in Isaiah 49 indicates that God has engraved not our names, but our very selves, on his hands. The point is to show that God loves us, cares for us, and will never forget us.

Occasionally my grandchildren work hard to pry open my fingers, searching for something I have hidden in my hand. Sometimes I move the prized object to my other hand, eliciting an exasperated “Grandpa!” It’s a playful game that always ends in their victory and a hug.

Life is not a mere playful game, but it will end with Jesus’ victory—his hands still holding us securely. Those hands were scarred by the nails of the cross, but he has promised that he will never let go of his loved ones. All who believe in him as Lord and Savior are safe and secure in the palms of his hands.

As Jesus promised, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).

Lent is a good time to reflect on God’s powerful hands—and to see ourselves engraved there.

Jesus, in this Lenten season we rejoice in the secure grip of your nail-scarred hands. In your name we hope. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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