Coming soon to—a beautiful new design. Get an early look

Jump directly to the content
Guest | Limited Access

Subsciber access onlyarticle preview

Available to TCW subscribers only. or subscribe now.

God's Tattoo

Evidence of God's love is everywhere. But take a special look at his hands.

No First PageNo Previous PagePage 1 of 3Next PageLast Page

I've always been in awe of people who have the guts to get a tattoo. It's not their physical bravery or social courage that impresses me so much as the permanence of their decision. Maybe at the time you really like Mickey Mouse, but what if you outgrow your Disney phase in a few years? Or what if things don't work out with Billy or Johnny?

I think it's this idea of permanence that makes Isaiah 49:16 so appealing: "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands."

Did you catch that? God has a tattoo. And it has your name on it. With full knowledge of what he was getting himself into, God made a decision to love us. That decision wasn't a temporary commitment—his love won't stop if someone better comes along. And it wasn't a conditional commitment—his love isn't based on what we can contribute to the relationship. It's a forever promise, a "not even death can part us" promise.

In our human relationships, we long for tangible reminders that we're loved. We want people to remember our birthday, send us flowers for no particular reason, tell us what they appreciate about us, hug us.

Yesterday I ate dinner with some friends who have a four-year-old son, Zach. He seized the first lull in the conversation to tug on my sleeve and say, "I have a secret to tell you." Then he "whispered" into my ear, loud enough for the whole table to hear, "I love you!" Five minutes later, another tug, another whisper. This time: "I love you very much!" Throughout the evening, Zach's eyes lit up every time he thought of another way to express his love.

I melted each time he delivered his secret. And I was reminded of how we're wired to be told we're loved.

God knows we have this need. He understands our short memory and our desire for tangible proof. So not only does he tell us over and over in Scripture how crazy he is about us, he went so far as to engrave our names on the palms of his hands. If there ever was a doubt of his love, God's tattoo settles it now and forever. We belong to him. Permanently. Uncon-ditionally. "It is he who made us, and we are his" (Psalm 100:3).

Apparently we aren't the first ones who needed reminders of God's love. Thousands of years ago, God assured the Israelites of the coming Redeemer and of his plan to save them (Isaiah 49). But the Israelites weren't convinced. Though they'd seen God's faithfulness in the past, they were desperate for a little proof. They lamented, "The Lord has turned away and forgotten us" (Isaiah 49:14, cev).

article preview

This article is currently available to TCW subscribers only.

To Continue Reading:

Scott Wenig

Sign up for TCW's free Encouraging Words e-newsletter to start each day with inspiration and encouragement straight from God's Word.

read these next

for further study

Downloadable resources to go deeper

Your Guide to Sexual Satisfaction

God's plan for sex is multidimensional-here's how to move past making pleasure your goal to seek a more intimate connection with your spouse.

Living Water

A three-session Bible study designed to quench your soul thirst and invite others in.

Practicing Contentment

In our culture, we have more, but seem to enjoy life less. Here are tips on how to foster deep, counter-cultural contentment in your life.

Sexual Temptation

Desire happens. Here's how to keep a misled God-given desire from ruining our lives.
Today's Christian Woman
God's Tattoo