Lucinda Secrest McDowell
She was waiting by the sink in the Ladies Room as I began washing my hands.
“Excuse me,” she interrupted, “But the Lord has given me a word for you.”
What? I was in Colorado Springs for a meeting with my literary agent and publishers. Honestly, it wasn’t going very well and I had escaped our dinner table at the restaurant to have a moment alone. And now this.
I gulped, “Okay. Thanks.”
And then she interjected, “And, oh yeah, something about your stomach. Is there a medical problem? Well, God says that’s going to be okay too.” (Now I was really spooked; and it was years later, in retrospect, that I finally understood that part of her word from God.)
But as she left the tiny room, she turned back with a smile, “Remember, you will not be forgotten!”
I never saw her again.
I also never shared this story. Until now, fifteen years later. It seemed too far-fetched. Too ‘out there.’ Prophecies in bathrooms simply are not part of my normal life – even my spiritual journey.
But I did write it all down in my journal. And I did pray, asking God to show me what, if anything, this was to mean in my life. And that’s when He led me to this verse. “I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.(Isaiah 49:16)
In Scripture, when that promise is made, there are two rather interesting reinforcements, one before and one after. Leading into those words is an illustration that hits close to home. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, fail to pity the child of her womb? Even these may forget, but I won’t forget you.” (Isaiah 49.15) As a mother who raised four children, I cannot even imagine a world where I would forget my nursing baby.
Though I don’t have any tattoos, I have certainly written reminders on my hand in ink, so I wouldn’t forget. Sort of like the second reinforcement in our verse today, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” In biblical times a slave would often bear the brand of his master, but here we have the Master inscribing his servant’s name on his hand. As though it is a tangible reminder of the covenant between God and His people.
In order for God to forget us, those scars in the palms of His hands must disappear! And that’s never going to happen, as this old hymn affirms, “My name from the palms of His hands eternity will not erase; Impressed on His heart it remains, in marks of indelible grace. Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is given; More happy, but not more secure, the glorified spirits in Heaven.” (hymn, “A Debtor to Mercy Alone,” Augustus M. Toplady, 1771)
Do you sometimes feel forgotten?
James I. Packer affirms this wonderful truth: “I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend. One Who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.”
I don’t even need the gift of prophecy to say to you today, “God says you will not be forgotten!”
under the mercy, Cindy
©2016 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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