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About the Writer:

Nancy chooses to look at life as opportunities to know more about God's people and desires to pass on His unfailing love to those around her. As a young widow with growing children, Nancy's life experiences are a blend of hope through hard times and faith that has moved mountains in her life. Her writings are effective storytelling with humor, biblical insight and deep compassion.


The Old Red Sweater

By Nancy Hughes

Key Verse:
“This is what the Lord says – he who created you…he who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you BY NAME; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)

I have an old red sweater. The tag says “This has been knitted especially for you with love by Patty Hallam.”  It is a comfort to me…it is precious to me…one, because it was made for me by someone who loves me (my sister) and two, because when I am hurting, when I am sad, when I need to hide away from the world for a while, I pull out that sweater and I wrap it around me like the hug from an old friend. I immediately have a sense of not only warmth, but security and peace.

But you know something? Some day, when I am gone, that sweater will be given away, maybe to Good Will. And someone will look at it and the tag and say “Patty Hallam…who is that? Who cares?” and the sweater will not be a source of warmth and security nor will it be considered precious any more but will be a rag for soaking up oil from an engine or tossed in the trash because it’s no longer in style. And why is that? Because no one will know the name of the person who worked so hard to create it out of love for another and they will not recognize its value.

How wonderful it is that our Father not only knows each of our names but considers us precious in His sight. We read in Isaiah 43:1 (NIV): “This is what the Lord says – he who created you…he who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you BY NAME; you are mine.”  And if that’s not enough to encourage us, we can read further in Isaiah 49:16 (NIV): “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

How amazing is that! We are not a number to Him. He does not say “Nancy who? Who cares?” He knows us by name. But He goes even further: our names are engraved on the palms of His hands! Not penciled in which can be easily erased, not written with permanent ink which fades with time but engraved by Jehovah Himself. And why has He done that? Because He created us. Because He loves us. Because we are precious to Him.

The name on a tag in an old red sweater may not mean anything except to the person who made it or the person wearing it. But the name engraved on the palm of our Father’s hand represents a love that will last for an eternity.

My Prayer for Today:
Father, thank you. Thank you for knowing my name. Thank you for loving me so much that you call me your very own child. Give me courage to share that love no matter where I am. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Application Steps:
Tattoos are popular in today’s society. When you see a person with one, remember that our Father has an eternal “tattoo” of you on His hand. Lift him or her up and specifically pray that, if they do not know our King, they will seek His face.

When the Lord lays someone’s name on your heart to pray for them, write their initials on the palm of your hand and as you look at your hand throughout the day, pray for that person.

Reflection Points:
How important is it to you to develop the habit of remembering the names of people that you meet so that you can pray for them?

Begin each morning by stretching your hands toward our Father and praising Him for His eternal tattoo of your name.

Power Verses:
Isaiah 49:16 (NIV): “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

Luke 10:20 (NIV) “…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Revelation 3:5 (NIV) “…I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels.”

John 10:3 (NIV) “The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”



Copyright © January 2008 – Nancy Hughes. All rights reserved.


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