I’ve had  “Before the Throne of God Above” stuck in my head for almost a week.  (Believe me, I know there are far worse songs to have stuck in your head.)  In case you aren’t familiar with it, LISTEN to any one of these recordings.

This hymn reminds me of my own faulty struggle with self-righteousness. I’ve battled being good enough for most of my life. I let comparison (judging my behavior as better or worse than others) and my own attempt at being “right” keep me from experiencing God’s grace in the ways that I should. God has been using studies, sermons, and everything in between to show me the hypocrisy and judgment that keep me from genuine repentance.

In simpler terms: When I attempt “being good enough” to earn God’s love, I end up acting like I don’t need His love at all.

This hymn reminds me that if I really believed that God’s love was enough I would be quick to say I’m sorry (to God and to everyone around me), I would live humbly, and I would have no need to seek my own righteousness. If only I could remember how He showed His love, with my name graven on His hands.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea:
A great High Priest, whose name is Love,
Who ever lives and pleads for me.

My name is graven on his hands,
My name is written on his heart;
I know that while in heaven he stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see him there
Who made an end of all my sin.

Because a sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I am,
The King of glory and of grace!

One in himself, I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, my Savior and my God
With Christ, my Savior and my God
-Charitie Lees Smith

Even now as I sing along with the words I can’t keep my eyes from welling from tears.

“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”
Isaiah 49:16, ESV

I write things on my hands so I won’t forget. My Father- my Savior, engraved my name upon His hands.  The Creator of the world engraved your name upon His hands. He won’t forget you.