Sometimes it feels like each day brings a new onslaught of chaos inside my thoughts. My responsibilities, my people, my decisions, my fears – they fall one on top of another, leaving me worried and weary. Maybe you know how I feel.
As a Christian, I’ve heard sayings like, let go and let God, and I know the Scriptures that say don’t be anxious (Philippians 4:6) and be still (Psalm 46:10), but quietly I’ve questioned, If I don’t think about and take care of these things, who will? Psalm 8 helps me answer this question.
The psalmist David poses this thought, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” He asks this question in wonderment of who God is and why He chooses to consider the human race at all. In doing so, he also notes two truths: God thinks about us, and God cares for us.
We can take our worries off our minds, because God has us on His mind. Not only can we take everything off our minds, but Psalm 8 also gives us something to replace those thoughts with . . . our Lord.
God’s glory is the very thing that leads David to shake his head at the way God regards mankind. After spending three verses pondering the vastness of God’s power and majesty, the psalmist leads us to orient ourselves around who God is and His rightful position in the universe (Psalm 8:1-3). And when we put God in His proper place, the things in our lives also fall into place.
But note the necessary process of placing and keeping God as ruler over our lives: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place” (Psalm 8:3). David does not just glance at God. He doesn’t even pause to simply acknowledge God. The Hebrew word for “look” is often translated “consider.” Other definitions for this word are “inspect” or “look intently at.”
Psalm 8 points us back to the beginning when God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27).
But the verses also point us forward to the coming Son of Man, Jesus (Hebrews 2:9).
Jesus knew what it was to be hungry (Matthew 4:1-2).
He knew how it felt to be homeless (Luke 9:58).
He felt the sting of rejection (John 1:11) and the sadness of death (John 11:34-35). Yet Jesus had God on His mind (John 4:34).
Our nature steers us to believe we couldn’t possibly trade our worldly concerns for moments to sit and think about God. But when we feel like that, we should remember that because God has us on His mind, we are free to give our attention to who He is, the God who sent his Son to die on the cross so we could live. Here is a prayer to help you do just that:
Dear God, I don’t want to waste one more day smothered by my deafening thoughts. They steal my attention from the beauty of your majesty, and I miss your glory all around me. Quiet my soul, I pray. May today be the beginning of a new thought pattern in my life. Let your joy fill my soul as I think of you. In Jesus’ name, amen.