Engraved on His Hands

by Tammy Kennington

The familiar ping of the cell phone alerted me to a new message. A hurting friend and I had been discussing the razor-edged struggles of the hard in her life. A loved one had said things. Done things. She wanted to know–could the relationship recover?

I paused before responding. I didn’t see the way. I didn’t know how the hurt could be redeemed. But God did. The words I chose? With God, all things are possible.

Tears blurred my miniature screen when this dear one answered. I feel worthless.

I understood these words. I had owned them for years. And I wonder…how many of us have been in that place? How many of us have felt the thrust of the enemy’s arrow digging into our hearts with messages that overshadow the love letters from God in His Word?

Maybe you’ve believed the lies, too. The messages burning in your heart may have been lodged there since childhood—words spoken by a parent, a teacher, or peers. Perhaps you were burdened with the weight of worthlessness when a marriage begun with promises ended in betrayal. Is it possible that your past—the sins you can’t seem to forget—deems you worthless?

Not in God’s eyes. Jesus wants to affirm you. What He offers is no mere positive mantra for personal repetition or word of false praise. He wants to give you so much more.

Jesus is calling us to follow him. As he called the disciples away from their fishing, He shouts out your name–a personal invitation to leave your own nets behind–those things that entangle and threaten to drag you into dark waters. He calls us to leave them in the sand, Friend. Like refuse scattered along the water’s edge after a storm, you can shed your hurts, cast off the lies, and release your burdens.

I’m not suggesting that Jesus is an easy answer. The world is still a place of broken people. Suffering continues. Tears still flow. Certainly, Jesus didn’t mince words when he said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:31-33 MSG).

The God of the universe and creator of all things loves you so passionately that when He spread His arms wide on the cross He was dying for you. You are that valuable. “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? Even if that were possible, I would never forget you! See, I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT).

With Jesus, it is very personal. Even in all of our difficulty and doubts, let’s respond to His grace and love. Will you follow after Him in your present? Because one beautiful day in the future we’ll celebrate a heavenly homecoming and fully understand just how much He loves us.

 “So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” Exodus 33:17 NKJV

Tammy KenningtonAbout the author: Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and child abuse awareness advocate. Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy leads women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them.

The author of five children’s nonfiction books, Tammy’s work has also been featured by Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and others. You can meet regularly with Tammy at Mercy Multiplied.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Tammy’s children’s book for 8 to 11 year olds, Penguins,  (Exploring our Oceans: 21st Century Skills Library), please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: What are the messages embedded in your heart that you need to cast off?

12 thoughts on “Engraved on His Hands

  1. I love this encouraging word, Tammy. God’s love for us is so beyond what we can imagine, yet He describes that love so beautifully in Scripture. I am thankful for His love! Thank you for the needed inspiration this morning:)

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  2. Tammy – as soon as I saw your name, I smiled! What a blessing to see your words and picture here. I love your response to your friend as she dealt with brokenness in a relationship – “with God all things are possible.” Such a great way to bring the focus back on God. I want to remember this the next time someone shares their hurting heart with me. Be blessed and I can’t wait to see your words again sometime!

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  3. Thank you for your message today. I responded to a fb friend’s post about trusting God and worrying. I thought perhaps she wanted some encouragement, but after reading what I sent her in a message she ignored me. I felt worthless like I had made a mistake in responding to her. Thank you for letting us know that Christ doesn’t see me or His work worthless

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    1. Hi Linda. Even if your friend continues to be unresponsive, God can still use your sweet vulnerability to minister to her heart. May He encourage your tender spirit and guard you from the enemy who wants to wound you with lies. Peace and blessings, Tammy

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