One of the coolest things I’ve learned about God is that He wants a mutual relationship with us. There are tons of examples of this in Scripture. For example, in Matthew 7:7, we knock at the door of heaven, asking Him to answer our prayers. But in Revelation 3:20, we find Jesus knocking on the doors of our hearts—hoping that we will answer. I’m sure you can think of others: He loves us, we love Him back. He gives to us, we give back to Him. He defends us before the Father in heaven, and we defend Him (as it were) before people on earth.
Anyhow, I thought I’d come across most of these examples of reciprocity, so was surprised by the new one I discovered recently. I was telling a friend about a text I love, Isaiah 49:15-16. God is speaking to Israel and says, “I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” The idea of God engraving the names of His people—and I include myself in that number—on the palms of His hands blows me away. When I told my friend about this, she seemed startled.
“Do you know what Isaiah 44 talks about?” she asked?
I had no clue, so she told me. It’s a passage talking about the blessings of the descendants of Israel, those who will be filled with His Spirit: “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s,’ … and another will write on his hand, ‘The Lord’s.”
She told me how deeply that verse had impressed her, so much so, that she took her pen and wrote “The Lord’s” on her hand.
The next day, I did the same. And every time I looked at His name on my hand, I thought about how my name was also written on His hand. Having that simple reminder of whose I was written on my hand helped me stay connected with God throughout the day. When I felt lonely, I looked at my hand and remembered: “I belong to Him. My name is written on His hand.” When I was tempted to be impatient with someone, I saw His name on my hand and thought about Him watching me, loving me, and wanting to help. Sometimes I would trace my finger across the words, and wonder if He ever did that to my name on His hand. You know, I think He just might!
When I washed my hands and those words started to fade, I felt sad. So I would grab a pen and write them over again. For me, it was a small symbolic gesture that reminded me of a huge truth: My Beloved is mine and I am His. And, as you can probably imagine, it inspired my praying that day—and continues to do so.