I walked in my front door after 5 long recording days, and was met by my darling husband and two sweet furry Pekingese dogs begging for a bit of affection. It was also the big day for the ICM Top 5 Announcements and all was abuzz on Facebook. Despite all the excitement, my focus shifted to those who did not reach the Top 5, Top 10, or even more importantly to those who faithfully serve without ever receiving any recognition.
In the midst of this mental paradigm shift, these words came to mind, “You are and always will be in the palm of my hands.” Nominations, awards, validations are great. Can they come from God, yes, but the lines can be easily blurred. When you witness someone receiving an award or validation of some sort, it does not take long for one’s perspective to cross over into the idea that recognition is going to be the thing that will help God use you more. This may be true in some cases, but what I have learned over the years is that if God is behind the message, He will open doors that man cannot. When you seek Him first, all things will be added unto you according to His will. The God-ordained ministry opportunities will be organic and divinely appointed; never forced.
Maybe, it is because I have been recording Christmas music in the fall that causes me to draw this parallel, but I cannot help but see the door of heaven opening up and Jesus stepping into humanity. I see the arms of a Mother holding her child and God like a Mother, holds each of us. To further symbolize this, the words in Isaiah 49:15-16 say, “Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” This verse is referring to the people of Israel, but it automatically points me to the hands of Christ. Throughout Scripture, heaven’s care, love and sheltering have been illustrated for us in countless ways and most compellingly through the hands of Jesus. There is something profound, deep and comforting in the knowledge that one day every measurement of value will be delivered from the throne of God alone. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. We will see mail carriers who prayed secretly for our children, Mother’s tears will be wiped away after years of seeking God for their children’s salvation, people who kept the church restrooms clean will be celebrated by angels and every crown earned will be placed back into the hands of the One who first loved us.
I find something mysterious and romantic about the songs we write and record about our Savior’s birth. It is a love season of sorts, one of God’s depth and massive reach as He desires relationship with us. One of my all time favorite quotes is, “Nor can we fall below the arms of God, how lowsoever it be we fall,” per William Penn. This applies to the wayward child, the lost sheep, but the point is that God’s reach spans from the heavenly realms to our living rooms. My intent in sharing this is to provide a reminder, a perspective if you will in the midst of the celebration and ceremonies. His eye is on the sparrow, the smallest need and every single child matters. He is our greatest reward. Let us not forget.
If I could play you a song about the Father’s love right now, I would. Instead, I will leave you reminded that no matter what is happening, successes, failures, in-betweens, rest quietly in His loving hands beloved. What this world has to offer pales in comparison to the Father’s love.
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
– Stuart Townsend / How Deep The Father’s Love For Us