‘But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;’ Isaiah 49.14-16
Being forgotten must feel so hopeless; to be in a place or situation where no-one knows your plight or even thinks about you. People forgetting you is bad enough, but if we add the possibility of God forgetting you, then the sense of hopelessness must increase so much more.
We are looking at some passages which reveal aspects of God's character in terms of 'motherly' qualities, and in this context Isaiah reveals the impossibility of us ever being forgotten by God. It is as impossible as a mother forgetting her own child!
These verses were actually written about Zion - the people of God - but this should not put us off applying this amazing truth to ourselves. When God speaks about his love for the world, it is also about his love for each individual in it. John 3.16 tells us that God so loved the whole world that he sent Jesus for each person. In Galatians 2.20, Paul speaks about his conviction that Jesus loved him and gave himself for him personally. Isaiah’s revelation to God's people, Zion, is also a revelation for each individual.
Your own mother would never forget you - you belong to her and come from her in a unique way; but even if she could, then God could not forget you. It is as if he has engraved your very name on his hands to ensure that you are never forgotten.
Today you are constantly on God's mind. As you think back over yesterday, both the good and bad times, there was never a moment when you were not on his mind.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission