THINK OF A VAST EXPANSE of sandy beach, stretching as far as the eye can see, mighty waves crashing ashore. How many individual grains of sand compose that expanse? The mind boggles. Surely no number could be given. And yet, for the composer of Psalm 139, there was something even more numerous than those grains of sand: the thoughts God gives. "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" (verses 17 and 18).

So often, people can see no way out of illness, debt, deadend lives, conflict. And yet, for all of that, God never stops sending precious thoughts to us, infinite in number—representing infinite solutions. Many times, people look first for things to meet their needs, such as a new prescription drug, a check in the mail, a job offer. And it's perhaps no wonder we're accustomed to approaching life in this way, given what our eyes and ears tell us. That's why it's so significant that the Psalmist spoke in terms of "thoughts." Whatever the issue at hand, God's solutions, being spiritual in nature, are not actually physical, but mental. Looking first for these ideas from God is what brings mental enlightenment and understanding, which in turn produce outward improvement in the human condition.

This is the end of the issue. Ready to explore further?
August 29, 2005

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