Yesterday morning started a little too early for our household. 4:30 to be precise. OK, if I’m going to be precise then that would be: “4:30 for me, Scout and the coffee pot, and 4:50 for Rebekah.” Regardless, it was too pre-dawn by far and we were in the SUV and heading for the surgery-center before 5:15.
Rebekah was scheduled for out-patient hand surgery, First in and first out because fasting and Type-One diabetes are not the best combination, especially as they pretty much numb your brain as well as your entire arm.
BIG OUCH: Without going into all the details, the key word in the idea of surgery is “cut.” The doctor made an incision in the palm of Rebekah’s hand so she could perform some fancy repair work on some of the uncooperative tendons inside. That’s why Monday’s scripture reading from my morning devotional was so remarkably appropriate. I kid you not, the following text is exactly what I read in The Upper Room just five minutes before Rebekah went in to surgery…
The LORD says, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16)
INTERPRETATION: That scripture resonated on a number of levels:
- First, the imagery is raw and vivid. Rebekah’s surgeon – an orthopedic specialist who works exclusively on hands – said palms are extra sensitive because our hands have such critically important work to do.
- Then, with Lent coming and preparation for Easter under way, the idea of God engraving my image into the palms of the very hands of Jesus just about stops me cold.
- Not only that, but I realized that God is a specialist too: God specializes in Rebekah; God specializes in me; God’s hands were spread wide open for us; God believes in us that much.
Yesterday morning I felt a tremendous sensation of care and love from my Creator. My image, my likeness, my vulnerabilities, my sins, my personality, engraved indelibly on the very body of Divinity… How God must love me!
JESUS: Listen to how Jesus delivers the idea in Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Do not be afraid. Fear not. Forget hoping for your photo fastened on God’s refrigerator; God had your likeness chiseled into the palms of the hands of Jesus.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.