Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee:
if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
– Psalm 40:5
Waking up in my clean-sheeted bed after a weekend camping trip always reminds me of just how good life is. Here we reside, in a cheerful yellow house, having tap-access to drinking water (and showers!) with stable roof overhead, flushing toilets and rooms stocked full of every amenity we need.
I send forth a morning prayer to thank Him for these gifts and with my Amen I can’t help but think, “Life is good … because God is great.” It only takes minutes to send a ‘thank you’ note to Him, but it is a powerful exercise – and one linked to hospitality.
Gratitude reveals God’s hospitality toward us. If we but take time to consider His hand in the details of our life, our eyes are opened to His thoughts for us. He thinks of us individually, consistently and always with our best interest in mind. Isn’t that what hospitality is?!
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” – Psalms 139: 17
Not coincidentally, I read this scripture on our recent camping trip to the sand dunes. Two miles of sand dunes and a fresh water lake to be exact. The sand particles were (obviously) innumerable – and how great stood the sum of them! We climbed mountains of sand so steep we were forced to crawl on all fours. I simply can’t imagine how much God thinks of me … and that very thought sends me to a humble head down, on-all-fours position. For, I need to think of Him much, much more.
Allow me to share one more lesson learned on those dunes (one less related to His thoughts of us – and more about our thoughts toward Him). Those sandy mountains can sting and challenge – especially when winds blow. We experienced 22 mph wind gusts that weekend, knocking us over and piercing in all directions. It hurt. And when we finally reached the ridgetop of the highest dune, the wind seemed stronger. No summit of serenity awaited us. So, as the mama, I felt we needed to capture the moment anyway – I asked my team to hold back hair, close eyes and take a picture! The grit struck our smiles, exfoliating our teeth … but it was worth it.
As we made our descent, I noticed that it wasn’t until we entered an entirely different habitat that the winds calmed.
In this life, we can endure our climb all the way to the pinnacle and still not celebrate a ceasefire. The winds continue to sting. Yet by holding steady to Truths we know in our hearts, we show we’re thinking of Him. We can “capture the moment” by capturing His spiritual lessons underlying each moment … for He always thinks of lessons for us. With each step (or crawl) up and down the dunes of our life, we can demonstrate our thoughts to God – that same God whose thoughts for us stand as innumerable as the sands.
Yes, our thoughts toward Him will make the journey worth it …. And some day when we enter an entirely different and heavenly habitat, one where winds cease, we will look back at those capture moments with smiles.
Insights & Inspiration
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Dedicate an entire prayer to thanking God for His thoughtfulness in your behalf. List specific blessings that come to mind.