I have cared for you since you were born.
Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I am astonished by this verse, that says that God carries his children from conception and throughout life. In contrast to a life of idolatry, where you are burdened and oppressed by, and must carry the idols; God carries his people. That is such good news!
God brings us to conception, God brings us to birth, and God carries us through life (Ps. 139:1-18). God is faithful (2 Tim. 2:13). What he begins, he will bring to fruition or completion (Phil. 1:6). We are each a creative work from God that has a purpose he has fashioned us for (Eph. 2:10).
If you are discouraged by not being birthed, figuratively, into your purpose, or walking in it; be encouraged that God is faithful and he is carrying you. If you have some calling in your life, that is not quite here yet, be encouraged that God will make it happen, because he is faithful (1 Thess. 5:24).
God is intensely personal (1), maternal, and affectionate towards us. If you have a problem with God being figuratively maternal, consider that God is not a man, but The Father. Man and woman were created in God's image and the maternal traits are from God. This is how Apostle Paul could say, "Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I'm going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives." (Gal. 4:19) Paul also said, "We were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children." (1. Thess 2:7) Paul was the same person who wrote to, "Act like men", which means being alert, standing firm in the faith, being courageous, and strong (1 Cor. 13:16).
The context of Isaiah 46, is that it was written to the people of God who survived a long captivity in Babylon and who were born there, in exile. For those living under God's punishment or disciplinary action, brought on by their sins or the sins of their older relatives, comes this word. And the word is, that God says, "Listen up! I am carrying you and have been carrying you since before you were born."
You might be astonished to know that God has been carrying you. God has carried the burden of your life. God says to us, "I am carrying you and I have been carrying you all along." Your captivity may be a not-ideal situation. Your exile may be that you are not where God designed you to be. God knows that and God is carrying you.
Sit with that thought.
He's got you and he will carry you through. God is nurturing and caring. You may have had a rough life. God says that he has upheld, carried, and sustained you to this day. He has borne you along throughout your life.
The artwork above is from Shibu Cherian
1. Brueggemann, Isaiah 40-66, p. 88