January 26, 2016

The God Who Does Not Forget Us

Isaiah 49:13-16

Can a mother . . . have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

—  Isaiah 49:15-16

One of our deepest fears is that we will be forgotten after we die. Psalm 103:15-16 says, “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” 

I fondly remember my father’s dry humor and my mother’s steadiness at her humble job. But none of my grandchildren ever met them, and in spite of the jokes and sayings of my parents that I repeat, I know that their memory will one day pass away.

Some people speak of a sense of “cosmic loneliness” in the universe: that a person’s longing for meaning is lost in the cold vastness of space. But that would only be the case if there were no God. The Bible promises that our lives are not meaningless, that we are dear in God’s sight, that the grave is not the end.

What’s more, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14). If the Savior knows our name, we are certainly loved; life is not meaningless.

God said through the prophet Isaiah, “I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Here, surely, is a prophecy of the nail prints on Jesus’ palms! (See John 20:25-28.)

When we are afraid, O Lord, help us to remember your love and to hold fast to your promises. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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