Years ago, I was riding on a ski lift with my husband. The wind was blowing, but not enough to cause me to shiver in the cold. No, I was shivering due to what my eyes were taking in. My heart was overwhelmed with the beauty of the thickly-laden snowcapped branches of the pine trees. They swayed in the breeze as the branches gently brushed one another. The freshly fallen snow on the ground was undisturbed except for animal tracks. It was quiet and peaceful. My husband and I were quiet as he too was in awe. I was thinking of God’s goodness and praising Him silently. Then all of a sudden, singing voices interrupted the quiet:
You shall go out with joy / And be let forth with peace, /
And the mountains and the hills / Will break forth before you.
There’ll be shouts of joy / And the trees of the fields /
Will clap, / Will clap their hands.
I could visualize the mountains breaking forth and trees clapping unto the Lord for His goodness. I joined in song as the youth’s voices continued to ring out. My husband smiled at me, touched my hand, and nodded, indicating he was thinking the same thing. There were many people on the lift before and behind us, yet I never saw the young ones who were singing and praising God. Yet, this song rang out across the hills. I appreciated their boldness to sing what I was thinking. All of those around us heard our lifted voices. So, I prayed that if people’s hearts were hurting and negative thoughts were taking charge, they too saw reason for that song. Hopefully, their day took a turn towards “goodness.”
“How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him who brings good news, good news.”
This line from another song, which I have had running through my head, comes at a very good time for me. The encouragement of the twice-repeated verse emphasizes His goodness in my life. I struggle with the enemy putting thoughts in my head that are against the promises my Bridegroom has spoken to me over and over.
When this happens, I meditate on the truth that “I am loved,” picturing His expressive eyes of love as a husband who looks at his wife on their wedding day. I remind myself, “He watches over me as I sleep,” and I imagine Him smiling, watching, as a mother watches over her sleeping child, noticing every breath. I remind myself “How my Bridegroom comforts me in dark times,” and feel His large arms holding me so close that I hear His heartbeat. I repeat “He is my best friend,” and we laugh at silly things and I whisper in His ear telling Him my deepest secrets. I mediate on this truth: “My Bridegroom will never leave me nor forsake me.” The word for leave is translated here to mean abandon. For me, the word abandon has a deeper, more personal meaning. It is in those times when my mind is running full speed ahead and out of control that I whisper to my loving Bridegroom, “Help me.” I go into that place of retreat to recuperate and let His words flow over me, imagining myself standing under a waterfall with my hands open wide. The water flows over my head, down my lifted face, over my hands, and covers my body. His living water purifies and cleanses those thoughts away.
So why do we have those times of “off track” thoughts? Is it because we don’t put enough faith in Him? No. It is because we live in a place that is temporary, where our flesh tries to drive our thoughts even though we know better. Yet, we are able to run into His outstretched arms and He will receive us with compassion.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT).
Let’s bow and pray:
Lord, the depth of my love for you can never even compare to what You feel for me. Your compassion and love fills every crevice of my heart. Your mercies are new every morning. Your kindness is better than life. Your Word is a balm to my soul. Lord, take these untamed thoughts, crush them in Your mighty hand, and fill me once again with your Spirit. Amen.