“Can a mother forget the baby nursing at her breast? Can a mother have no compassion for 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 49:15-16)
In the book I’m reading at the moment (as part of Melissa Taylor’s online bible study (for more info, click here), I’ve been really challenged by the following quote: “I wish someone had told me that God would not forget me, that I was right where He wanted me and that I should relax…and see the opportunities He had placed in front of me.”
For years I have believed the promises in the Bible that God would never leave me, that He would never forsake me, that He would never abandon me nor quit on me.
But it has taken a lot longer to have the revelation that He will never fail to remember me. He will never forget me. Others might, but He won’t.
The truth is, for years I was a people-pleaser. As a people-pleaser I wanted everyone around me to be happy and I would often do whatever was asked of me to keep it that way. People-pleasers yearn for outside validation. They thrive on words of affirmation. Their feelings of security and self-confidence are based on getting the approval of others. People-pleasers put others before themselves so much that it becomes like an addiction. When people- pleasers ‘do’ things for others, they feel needed. Important. Not forgotten.
As a people pleasing ‘addict’, I was always pushing onto the next ‘project’ even though I was already overloaded and over-committed. I did this so that I was not forgotten. So that people would remember me for what I had done.
This caused a great deal of angst in my life (and probably in the lives of others around me) because unfortunately I can be so disorganised that I would offer to do something and then I wouldn’t finish what I started. I would end up feeling that I’d disappointed the very people around me that I was trying to please…and that I had also disappointed God.
The truth is, that without an understanding that my significance comes from being loved and accepted by God exactly as I am, the upside-down priorities I place on myself trying to please people will continue to dominate my life.
Somewhere along the way I got confused between ‘doing’ and ‘being’.
I somehow assumed that God was pleased with me ‘doing’ stuff for Him. There has been a sense that perhaps, just maybe, if I didn’t ‘do’ things, He might forget me. He might pass me over. The job might be given to someone else. Someone smarter. Someone better. Someone younger. Someone more spiritual.
Like the author of the book I’m reading, instead of accepting my life as it is and thriving where I am, in the past I have plowed ahead, certain that God is pleased with all my sacrifices.
The reality is, no matter whether I’m ‘doing’ or ‘being’, I don’t have to do it to please God. Right now, where I am, doing what I’m doing, I am pleasing Him. So it’s time to relax and remind myself that He will never forget me. He won’t neglect me. He is not inattentive towards me. He will never fail to remember me. I am not forgotten.
How can I be so confident?
Because He assures me that I am engraved on the palms of His hands!
And so are you.