(Psalm 139:17-18) “How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O God! How vast in number they are! If I should count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”
The first time I ever encountered this verse, it went in smooth and easy. For, The Lord had already put in my heart that any one soul is more precious and valuable than all of His material creation combined, that we are indeed priceless to Him (John 3:16, Mark 8:36). So, right away, I went into my imagination and visualized a vast, empty beach of wet, light-tan colored sand, where every grain contained a thought, all concerning just one particular child of God. And, from that first encounter long ago, this simple visualization became my floating concept for that verse. This light-tan beach seemed to float right past my mind’s eye whenever my heart told me that someone needed to hear that verse.
But, over the decades, there existed one small, blank spot in my imagination which I routinely avoided, though not consciously, of course. You see, I could never quite picture myself as that child. This parable beach of my imagination always more easily represented His thoughts for someone else, anyone else. It was never mine. I think perhaps I would have simply felt too embarrassed to ever allow that verse to fully sink in. But, that’s okay. Matters of the heart take time, and Love is so very patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Anyway, yesterday, I found myself mulling over this same, sandy verse once more, contemplating the hugeness of God’s dedication to each and every member of His beloved family — yes, including me this time. I think I might have been trying to take this simple, long-established, cold-and-hard fact about God and somehow bring it into its heartfelt fullness, to make it more warm and real, to find that spark-of-life, that telltale sign, which is always present in His divine truth. But, I could not, and you know, it never dawned on me to ask Him for help. (I seem to keep forgetting to do that.)
But then, this morning, as I lay awake seeking the Lord’s company, this verse passed before me yet again, and as always, I am there, standing on that same empty beach, staring at that same wet sand, almost as if I could reach out and touch it. I was even faintly aware of small, quiet waves peacefully lapping at the shore behind me. I could hear myself talking, as if to someone else, saying, “Go ahead, pick up any one grain and ask Him which thought it represents.” But, as I tried hard to focus in on that one, wet grain of sand sticking to my index finger, something in my heart told me that it was time for this old scene to receive an update, that it was time for me to come more fully into the truth. My journey toward God is like a long stairway cut into the side of a mountain. Each step closer is a step upward, and as I stepped up, that lone grain of plain-old sand, which I never could quite clearly see, became a perfect, tiny diamond, and that long-held, visual concept of my imagination, that smooth, wet, light-tan, sandy shore turned a dazzling white and sparkled brilliantly in the late-morning sun. And at last, the truth of His heart settled warmly into mine.
Yes, not only are God’s thoughts concerning us more numerous than the sand, but each and every one is a pure and precious grain, a flawless diamond. Each thought for our sake, brought forth by our Creator is born in love, a pure, perfect, holy thought of the ultimate, highest quality. God’s thoughts about us are never callous or flippant, careless or sloppy, shallow or short. His considerations run so much deeper than we can comprehend, on currents of love unfathomable. His thoughts are never without richness of heart. I began to cry.
Somewhere in God’s heaven, there is a breathtaking, beautiful seashore with sand so stunning and sparkly-white, where all its diamond grains represent God’s thoughts of you, and you alone. This is your beach. This is your proof, the evidence of how much you have been loved and cared for all this time, though you never knew. Somewhere in heaven, on a breathtaking, beautiful seashore made just for you, it is raining diamonds… even now.