A Scar Shaped Like Your Picture

NIV Devotions for Men

A Scar Shaped Like Your Picture
Isaiah 49:8–18

Reading: Psalm 13:1–6; John 20:24–28; Romans 8:35–39

For whatever reason,
from the time they’re little boys guys like to show off
their scars. A polite
conversation with any average group of guys can suddenly
turn into some
bizarre, male-bonding ritual. First someone tells a story about
crashing his
mountain bike and the resulting scar on his knee. Then another
guy regales
the group about the scar left from his shoulder surgery. Another
points out
the scar on his hand and tells about his hunting-knife accident.
Before you
know it, the whole group is showing off their scars and relating
incidents behind the wounds.

Today’s passage tells us that God likes to
do this as well—not to one-up
anyone else with another great story but to
reassure us of his devotion to his

In truth, there is
something interesting about scars: They follow us wherever
we go, and the
stories behind them remind us of significant people and events
in our

The people of Israel had certainly wandered all over the
place—both physically
and spiritually. After the nation had faced
devastation, occupation and
deportation by King Nebuchadnezzar and the
Babylonian armies, the people of
Israel wondered, “God, have you forgotten
us?” God answered through the
prophet Isaiah: “I will not forget you! See, I
have engraved you on the palms
of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15–16).

Did you
know that God bears a scar on his hand in the shape of your picture?
Of course, because God is a spirit, he doesn’t have a literal hand. But you’re
so present on God’s mind that it’s as though he has engraved your
image on the
palms of his hands.

Perhaps the fury of whatever storm
you’re facing dims God’s voice and blurs
his presence. You might ask, “God,
have you forgotten me?” How can he be
present in the midst of your turmoil?
But regardless of the storm’s intensity,
you remain in the forefront of God’s
thoughts. He’s thinking of you,
sustaining you, comforting you, giving you
strength. He doesn’t mentally check
out. Whatever challenge you’re facing
isn’t the worst thing that could happen
to you. The worst that could happen
would be for God to forget about you.

But he hasn’t yet, and he never

To Take Away
Do you find it hard to accept that
God knows your needs and cares for you to
the extent that you’re always on
his mind? Why?

What events in your life have caused you to ask, “God,
have you forgotten me?”

How can you foster a deeper and more constant
trust in the reality that God is
always present with you?  

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