I got my first tattoo when my mom had come to stay with us after her stroke. It was such a life altering time for me. Everything had changed. It was a difficult time, but also a time I know that the Lord allowed, to bless me and to bless my mom. It was a time of change and a time of growth and somehow I wanted to mark that. I know in the bible that the Israelites often made a memorial or marker at significant times in their history. They would leave a pile of stones, such as after they crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. A man from each tribe placed a stone on the other side of the river so that all generations that saw that memorial would know and remember how God was faithful. I think that is what I was doing in a way. God had always been faithful and was again and I wanted to express that in a very tangible, visual way. I took a long time picking that first tattoo. It had to be exactly what I wanted, and I searched for hours and hours to find just the right one. That day came and I was trying to be so brave...actually got it done in my living room by a friend. I was doing great until I heard the needle go on and then oh man, stomach quivering, sounded like being at the dentist. I got through that one and as I said, four more after that.
I thought long and hard about each tattoo I got. The first one a cross to honor my love for Jesus. The next one that said 'Love' to remind me to always love others. The third, angel wings for after my mom passed away...she was now in the presence of angels and our Lord. The fourth two hearts entwined for my relationship with my husband Jim and how the Lord holds it all together. The last one of a quill and ink jar for a new chapter in my life. And it honors my love of writing and sharing the gift God has given me. Needless to say many hours and great thought went into these decisions. I wanted them to mean something and thought if they were going to be permanent, they had better be perfect. After all I would have them forever.
That makes me think of a scripture in Isaiah 49:16, "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands..."here the Lord is talking about the Israelites and their relationship with Him. How they can never be removed from Him. I am using that scripture for us, the adopted children of God. In Galations 4 it talks about how although we were not Jews, or heirs of God, by adoption we became no longer slaves to this world and sin, but sons and heirs of God and by His Spirit crying out, "Abba Father". We are His children and no one can snatch us out of His hand. He loves us so much He has graven, or inscribed and engraven our name on the palm of His hand. To inscribe means to mark especially in a durable or conspicuous way, to mark or ornament with incised letters. In other words permanent.
I'm sure you have seen those shows on tv where they take people who have horrible tattoos that they probably got when they were under the influence of something and now they regret them. Usually either a very juvenile attempt at tattooing or something wholly inappropriate. So they go and either have the tattoo removed or they have it covered up with something else. They have changed their minds about that tattoo. They didn't make a wise and thoughtful decision in the first place and now are sorry.
I have news for you...God will never have your name covered over. He will never think, wow have I ever made a mistake with that one. Numbers 23:19 says that God is not a man that He should change His mind. He is not fickle, this way one moment, the next moment different. He is unchanging. He chose YOU and He will keep you. He loved you so much that He put great thought into you and then He wrote your name on the palm of His hand, never to be removed. That name was inscribed with pain and with Blood and He made that choice. He chose to go through the pain and agony involved so that your name could forever be on Him. He loves you with an everlasting love. A love that nothing and no one can change. Romans 8:38-39 says, "nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Remember that the next time you feel lost. The next time you feel like you blew it again. That you are too far away, too bad, too damaged. NOTHING can separate you from the love of God and He marked it and memorialized it by placing YOUR name on the palm of His hand...He marked it not with ink, but with the blood of His Son.