17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.
This morning I have been searching for hope. It has been a rough week for me, a great many memories arising surrounding my wife’s death two years ago. Grief, it would seem, is not yet done with me, and this morning feels as raw and painful as that first morning after. I remember the details and the despair, the inability to rest in the night, that awful feeling of not having her hand to hold as I fell asleep. There was never in my life a more awful Sunday morning than that day after my wife went home to our Lord, and today feels like that day all over again.
I am only able to write about it because God remembers that day, too, and He gives me hope. He pours out His thoughts upon me, showers me with His peace. Although my beloved has passed on, yet do I still hold fast to the blessed hope of seeing her again. God knew me before I was born, watched me being formed in my mother’s womb, and He has never forgotten that miracle. Though to us each birth seems as common as the next, yet to Him each is precious and unique, His thoughts toward us full of grace and hope and love. Though we are born into sin, He yet has faith that we shall find salvation through His Son. God hopes in us even when we feel as if we cannot hope at all.
Last night, even as the memories came crashing back again, I laid my hand upon His Bible and remembered how precious His Word is to me, what joy I find there, what love and compassion so recorded for all men. His thoughts truly are as the unnumbered stars, His imaginings far beyond our own, and yet His dearest treasure is to consider men and that they should consider Him.
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
19 To deliver their soul from death,
And to keep them alive in famine.
And though many upon many would so look upon the Lord our God, we would never exhaust His mercy. He is the Almighty God, in Whom is our hope and rest and peace.
5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
Imprisoned as I am this morning by grief and hopelessness, He gives me freedom, He feeds me with His Word, He reminds me that He is the everlasting God. In what greater thing can a man hope than in the mercy of the Lord our God?
Bowed down as I am with sorrow, my heart creeps up a lonely hill toward His glory, finding handholds in His Word and in His truth, moving upward only by His grace. My soul is weary and heavy laden, yes, but my hope is not in men nor in created things, but in the Lord my God. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me. He has promised to take this heart of stone and make it flesh again. He has promised to renew and restore me according to His righteousness. He has promised new life, and that more abundant. He has promised, in the end, to wipe away the tears of this day and all others, to restore my joy so that I may worship Him in all His love and glory.
How precious indeed are His thoughts to me. How precious His living Word, how precious His Son, how precious His mercy, how precious His love.
Though I may lie down and sleep with troubled thoughts, though I may relive the fear and horror and despair, yet when I awake, I am still with Him. Though my thoughts may turn to grief, yet His thoughts turn to hope.
11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
12 “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
O Lord, I do search for You with all my heart! Though I am today weary with grief and sadness, though I can but dimly see the hope You have held for me, I still seek You, still need You, still find You in my prayers and meditations. I find You in Your Word, Father, and I find You in this stirring of light that breaks even now through the darkness. I find You, Lord God, in the rising sun and the twinkling stars, in the laughter of my children and the smile of a beloved friend. And yes, precious Lord, I find You even in my memories of a loved one now gone. Restore to me, my Lord, some hope and happiness and joy today–enough for today, bread for the journey I must face. And tomorrow, I shall awake and know that I am still with You. Amen.