A few months ago my pastor’s wife came to mind during my prayer time. I sat down and wrote her a note to express my thankfulness for her encouragement and to let her know that she is in my prayers. She later let me know that every day she sees the card and it encourages her to continue to put one foot in front of the other, especially in a difficult time. I never knew the effect my short note would have, but the Lord reminded me to: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11) I know when I hear from someone, even just a quick note, it encourages me because I realize that the Lord put me in their thoughts and prayers.
Even better than a note or call from a friend, we have someone who always has us on His mind–the Lord! “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.” (Ps. 139:17-18) His thoughts about us are too numerous to count!
If you’ve ever been to the beach, you know how tiny each grain of sand is. When you multiply it out (if you could even count the grains in just a handful) over the expanse of the beach you can see, it’s easy to see how vast the sum of each grain would be. That’s the sum of God’s thoughts about us. “You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.” (Ps. 40:5) The Father, who created us and who numbered all our days, is thinking about us all the time!
We aren’t just a momentary thought. He never stops thinking about us…And they are not thoughts of condemnation and judgement, but thoughts of absolute love and adoration. How precious are His thoughts toward us. In our limited understanding, this is just too good to be true…but it is true. God is thinking about us right now! He thinks about us when we are awake or asleep.
As I pondered these verses, I first felt a great appreciation for His love for me. He thinks of me all the time? Wow! The other day we marveled that we are never alone–He is always with us. Now I realize we are always on His mind. Which took me back to the first several verses of this psalm: “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.” (Ps. 139:1-6)
He created me knowing I would be imperfect and sinful: “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Ps. 139:16) What came to my mind is that He knew I wouldn’t always be faithful or righteous–none of us are–but He is because He is always the same: “if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). And He is always searching my heart, my thoughts, and knows my prayers before I speak them.
This gives me a different view of a much-loved Scripture: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33) This is a “go to” verse when I find myself worrying, to remind myself to seek the Lord and His will, and then the things I worry about will be taken care of (in one manner or another). If I am always in His thoughts, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts, He already knows my needs and wants to provide what I actually need (not always what I think I need).
Today I received insight that the Lord wants me to stop thinking of any earthly “needs”, and think about who He is, what He has done, and be in awe of His might, power, mercy, love and grace. To be still and know that He is God; and to further know that I am not. He wants us to rejoice in Him–in His character–and to spend time searching His Word for His thoughts, and to earnestly seek the path He has for us, humbling ourselves before Him in thankfulness. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” (Ps 17:15)
He has plans for each one of us, and had them before we were born (Eph 2:10). He wants us to trust Him, acknowledge Him as Sovereign God, and seek His counsel not our own (Prov. 3:5-6). THAT’s the relationship He wants with us! “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” (Jer. 29:11-13) His Word tells us to be encouraged that we have a Lord who loves us with an unending love, is always with us and is always thinking about us. I can’t think of better way to spur me on!