When I was a child I used to enjoy taking a long walk in the woods. Sometimes the path was well marked and sometimes it had grown up quite a bit. On the path that I walked was an old enormous beech tree. Beech trees have smooth bark which many love struck teens take advantage of. They carve their initials in the tree and come back later to see their work expanded. You might call them scars of love. All around that tree I saw the initials of lovers who pledged their faithfulness to another. I remember seeing one set of initials that had a mark through them and a new set of initials freshly inscribed. Our love interests do have a tendency to change.
I was reading in Isaiah about the kind of love God has for His people. Isaiah 49:15,16 says: "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…” Even the greatest of human loves may fail. Yet God’s love for us will never fail. Those romance inspired teens carved their initials into the bark of that old beech tree. Our God is said to have carved our names on the palms of His hands. The trees will get old and die but God is eternal and so is His love for those who are His own. I think of Jesus our Savior who loved the world so much that He went to the cross to demonstrate it. When He was crucified, His love for us allowed the nails to be driven into the palms of His hands. Those scars of love were still visible even in His resurrection body.
Our great God loves us so much that He describes it for us by engraving our names on His palms. Our wonderful Savior loves us so much that He walked the path to Calvary’s tree and bore the nails in His hands. You and I will never be worthy, but we can be forever grateful for those scars of love.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation