“How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Psalm 139: 17-18 (NIV)
Or what you think they think of you?
I’ve got to admit. I can easily fall into the quicksand of insecurity and worry that engulfs as a result of that very thing.
As a preacher’s daughter and former preacher’s wife, I have anguished over people’s opinions of me, my family, my home, and basically every aspect of my life. Now, because I worry about what you will conclude from that statement…noting I’m a former preacher’s wife, I feel the need to verify that I’m still married to him (although at times ministry threatened to do us in), but he now is in an executive role in denominational ministry. And not because he was unsuccessful…or did anything wrong as a pastor. It’s because God gifted him enormously for that job!
See, what you think…what I think you might think…can do a number on me.
I love an illustration that my husband used to share from the pulpit on this subject.
When in a heart to heart with his precious grandmother regarding his concern over what someone might think about a certain situation, his Mama Butler, told him, “Sunshine (That’s what she called my hubby.), when you’re young, all you care about is what people think about you. And you get married and have kids and you’re too busy to care about what people think of you. You hit middle age and you don’t care about what people think about you anymore. But then you get old and realize that nobody was thinking about you in the first place.”
Whenever I take a stroll down by that quicksand, I often think of the words of Mama Butler.
And more importantly, I think of the fact that whether or not someone is thinking of me…whether or not it is good or bad or indifferent, that the only One who matters is thinking about me, sees me through the blood of Christ, and loves me unfailingly. And the key verse above is testimony to that! Imagine that! God’s thoughts of us “outnumber the grains of sand.” (I was at the beach when I wrote this. That’s a lot of thinkin’!)
In my quiet time one morning, reading from Beth Moore’s devotional book, Praying God’s Word Day by Day, she said, “No matter what time of night you roll over in bed, you will catch God in the middle of a thought about you.” Don’t you just love that?