“What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand.” “O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him?” Psalm 8:4; 139:17-18; 144:3
When the psalmist considers God’s greatness, His sustaining power and order over all things, he is humbled by His thoughtful care of him, His constant vigil over his life, His knowledge of all that concerns him, His abiding presence. Are we not also overwhelmed at His thought for us? That the God of the universe would care about and set His attention and affection on us? “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you. I formed you; you are my servant; you will not be forgotten by me.” Thinking thus of God brings deep worship and thankfulness, humble abandon, rest and peace. (Isaiah 43:4; 44:21)
I awakened today, thinking of the woman with whom I would walk in a few hours. She was born and raised in another country, left her family to move here in love and marriage, and has lived in several cities as jobs changed. I thought of her adjusting to a foreign land, and to new homes and communities again and again. I prayed for her, holding her before God’s throne in care, compassion, the love of our friendship. Yesterday, a friend left me a message that she was thinking about me and a situation we had discussed; she was praying for me. What a blessing– to have a heart for others, and to be thought of!
Through the years, and in difficult times, I have been humbled, and palpably, inexplicably helped by the supernatural sense that I am being ‘carried’ not only by God but by others; there is real comfort and strength that comes from being held in the prayers of the saints, from knowing others have me on their hearts in loving concern and before God’s throne.
In my scurry of activity, planning, doing, of what and whom do I think? When I first awaken or arise, am I front and center– what I plan to accomplish, what I need or want, how I can fulfill my desires and expectations? Or do I train my mind to think first on my Savior, beholding Him in His glory and worth, and ask Him to place in my thoughts and heart those He would have me minister to, pray for, visit, encourage? Am I self-centered, or God- and others-centered? What motivations drive my choices, decisions, words and tone of voice, expenditures of time and money?
When Jesus died on the cross, it was with me in mind. God carved me in the palms of His hands; when I consider those pierced hands, I remember His thoughts and sacrifice for me. Will I, in gratitude, think on Him, and for His sake, others? (Isaiah 49:16)
Loving God, may I ever hold You, and others, in my heart. May I decrease, and You increase, in my thoughts and in my living. (Philippians 1:7; John 3:30)