This past weekend, I was honored to speak at a Women’s Christmas Luncheon at Westside Assembly of God. I grew up at Westside, so it felt a little like going home. It was so good to see so many faces that I haven’t seen in years.
I shared a bit about our journey with delayed fertility and how God has met us in our wait. I also spoke about the moments the Israelites were standing in front of the Red Sea with the Egyptians right behind them. I shared what I think they must have been feeling, and what God said to them in the midst of those feelings.
As I prepared for the message, the Lord showed me something that I hadn’t seen before. In Exodus 3, before God sent Moses to free his people, the Israelites were in captivity. They were crying out for freedom, and they had no idea how close breakthrough was. The Israelites were begging God for something to change. In Exodus 3:7, the Lord says to Moses:
“I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.“
While the Israelites were crying out, I am they sure wondering where God was. The bible tells us the Israelites were slaves for 400 years. I am sure they felt like they had been completely forgotten. I am sure they had dreamt of the perfect way for God to save them, and then I am sure they were disappointed when it didn’t happen. I am sure they felt like the Lord really wasn’t going to come through. Before the Israelites saw God move, the Lord said “I hear them, I see them and I care.”
This message felt like it was just for me. It’s so easy for me to believe God isn’t moving when I can’t see Him. It’s easy for me to think that because He isn’t answering my prayers RIGHT NOW the exact way I WANT, He just probably isn’t going to answer at all. However, just like the Israelites, God sees me, he hears me and he cares for me. Even when I can’t see it, God is working behind the scenes to accomplish His plans in my life.
I am stubborn. I feel like it often takes me multiple times to learn a lesson. I seem to always have to learn the hard way. I’m not kidding, after 10.5 years of marriage, I am just finally starting to trust that when Dan says I won’t like something, I shouldn’t take a bite. I’m hard-headed to a fault! Of course, God knows this about me and so I think He sends me extra messages when He is really trying to get through to my heart.
Last week, I was having a rough day. I had imagined the perfect way for God to move, and He didn’t. The timing seemed so perfect, so I had decided that if God would just show up the way I had dreamt, it would be the coolest “God story” ever. However, God had other plans. He said “not yet” to my dreams, and here I am still waiting.
I was feeling a little disappointed that God had decided to go another direction. That may sound silly, but my idea was really good! Even though I had planned to talk to the ladies at Westside about how God sees them, hears them and cares… I started to have doubts in my own life. When God didn’t move the exact way I wanted him to, I started to feel like maybe he wasn’t saying “not yet”, maybe he had just simply forgotten that I had a request. Just as I was letting this lie creep in, the Lord whispered Isaiah 49:16 to my heart:
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
As quickly as the lie started to creep in, I was able to push it out of my mind. My name is engraved on God’s hand. Not written with a pen that will wash off or fade over time, but engraved like a tattoo. It’s never going away. It is impossible for God to forget me.
On Sunday, we went to church at Westside before heading home. After worship, the Pastor had us open our bibles to Genesis 8. The chapter literally starts with “But God remembered Noah”. The Pastor went on to share that God can never go against His word, and He can never forget a promise.
So in one week’s time, the Lord reminded me THREE times that He cannot forget me. He sees me, He hears me and He cares about me. He is working behind the scenes to put the puzzle pieces in place to make His plans come together perfectly. He has me engraved on His hand and He cannot go against what He has promised.
Today, I feel very strongly that this isn’t just a message for my heart. As we get closer and closer to Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. It’s easy to feel forgotten, but I want to remind you today… God sees you. He has heard every single prayer you have spoke (and even the ones you haven’t spoke). He cares deeply for you. You are engraved on His hand too, and it is impossible for Him to forget you! Keep waiting on the Lord. He is at work even when you can’t see Him.