I Can’t Even Count That High!

“How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139: 17-18

Scientists have no concise number of thoughts a person thinks about in a day. Some will say we think about 12,000 thoughts, most of them useless. Other researchers estimate we think up to 80,000 thoughts per day, again, much of that useless thinking too. But even if we go for the lowest number, thousands of thoughts a day is a good number. Depending on what we are thinking, that is. We can have negative or positive thoughts, and then there are precious thoughts.

Negative Thoughts

We all have negative thoughts from time to time. “I didn’t study hard enough, I’m going to fail this exam,” you might say before walking into the examination room. Or “She doesn’t really like me, she just pretends. I’m not her type.” Negative thoughts.

Sometimes these negative thoughts overwhelm us. They come from all around us. For example, when a loved one, be it a parent or spouse condemns us, puts us down or even abuses us, we start seeing ourselves that way. If we are called stupid, then stupid we become! At least in our minds. Maybe what that person said is true? We start to maximise the negative and minimise the positive. Even if we once thought we had wonderful attributes, they now are subdued, pushed underground.

If we are a child or woman subjected to violence, we develop negative thoughts. Sometimes though, life can be good, but our negative thoughts come from within. And they don’t stop. They become like a run-on sentence, a replay that keeps repeating in our mind until the rut is entrenched in our mind. What happened once or twice now happens repeatedly in our minds. Negative thoughts. They don’t go away. Our thoughts become shrouds over reality.

Positive Thoughts

Positive thoughts can belong to the optimist, and the optimistic mind looks for happiness, health, and positive results in every situation. This optimistic person may have become so because of positive reinforcements in his or her life. Perhaps, there was an encouraging person in their life.

Once in awhile, life is difficult, but for the most part, a person with positive thoughts can look at the future with a smile and rejoice about today and tomorrow. They have made a different groove in their brain, grooves of positive thoughts. It isn’t that they don’t have problems, they do, they just handle them differently. Furthermore, they embrace the challenges of life.

Precious Thoughts

Precious thoughts don’t come from us originally. They come from a Source outside of us, even outside our realm. If we look at the verse above, it says that God’s thoughts towards us are precious, and more than the sands. How many thoughts are those?

Scientists have done an estimate by calculating the number of grains of sand in a teaspoon and then multiplying it by all the beaches and deserts in the world. The rough estimate is seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains. That is a number I cannot even comprehend. I might have been able to handle 80,000 thoughts but in the quintillions. Forget it! I can’t even count that high!

That is how many precious thoughts your Creator thinks about you. Whether you are a man or woman, boy or girl, you are treasured in his sight. So much so that he thinks about you all the time. Whether you are sleeping or awake, God is with you, watching over you, calling you his cherished child. That is how much you are worth to God Almighty.

Now if the God of the universe thinks about you that much, how does that help you move from negative thoughts to positive thoughts? Maybe what man has said about you is wrong? Could you be precious and worthy of love? Maybe you are a wonderful person after all? After all, God thinks precious thoughts about you.

Moving from Negative to Positive Thoughts

If we know the precious thoughts, is it now possible to move from negative thoughts to positive thoughts? It might be worth the try. You see, God says, we love because he first loved us. So maybe we can’t really love ourselves until we know that God loves us. Is that possible?

God isn’t like man. His love isn’t dependent on what others think of you, or what you think of yourself. He doesn’t ask that we be perfect and flawless when we come to him. He takes us just as we are. Why? Because he looks at our potential. He looks at how he formed us, not at what we have become or what we think of ourselves.

If you are abused and broken, come to him, and let him put his healing hand upon you and heal you. Let him love you so you can love yourself. If you have sinned and lived a miserable life, he can cleanse you and make you whole. After all, that is why Jesus came to earth, to reconcile us back to God. No matter what condition you are in, God’s thoughts towards you are precious. No matter what you think of yourself, negative or positive, God has precious thoughts towards you, quintillions of them.

If we know the love of God, can we learn to love ourselves? Can we look at the future with a smile when he turns ashes into beauty? You are loved and wanted by the Almighty, the One who has precious thoughts towards you.

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Featured Character in Shrouds Over Eden: Salome by Helen Khan

We were able to connect with featured character, Salome in her home in Sardarpur. She graciously agreed to talk to us about her life. If you have read Shrouds Over Eden, then you would have first met her there. I’m looking forward to hearing from her.

Assisting me today is Alizeh Rasheed who is fluent in both Urdu and Punjabi, plus, she tells me, she also speaks several local dialects as well. She is my translator.

Me

Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you and where do you live? Do you own your own home or rent?

Salome

I’m 27 years old and live at home with my parents in a small town called Sardarpur. I have a brother and two sisters. I used to be married but not anymore and I don’t have any children.

Me

Are you divorced or did your husband pass away?

Salome

I am separated from my husband. It is not easy for a woman to get divorced here, especially a Christian woman. My father asked his friend who is a lawyer about getting a divorce for me. He said, at one time that would have been possible, but one of our former presidents changed the Christian Divorce Act. The government is currently changing the act to include violence but it will be a long time before it happens. Besides, maybe my husband will change some day and I can go back to him.

Me

Who is the most important person in your life? And why?

Salome

The most important person in my life is my father. He has been my biggest support through all my difficulties, with my ex-husband and with my illness.

Me

What is your greatest fear?

Salome

I’m afraid to eat. Eating is very painful for me as my esophagus is damaged.

Me

What happened to you?

Salome

I don’t like to talk much about it, but I did it to myself. I was so depressed about my mom and sisters calling me names because I am not with my abusive husband. My mother is ashamed of me and couldn’t face people in the community, so she started to verbally abuse me, as did my sisters. All of this made me depressed so one day I drank Sweep. The acid burned my esophagus and stomach. But my father found me and rushed me to the hospital and now I am alive.

Me

Who is the person you respect the most, and why?

Salome

My father, because he loves me and he has supported me through everything. He is a very special father, especially in my culture where fathers don’t love their daughters the way my father does. Most men want sons, not daughters, so my father is an exception.

Me

How do you measure success?

Salome

Success would be having enough money to pay off all our debt.

Me

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Salome

Perfect happiness would be to be married to a good man and to have sons.

Me

Do you work outside the home? What is your occupation?

Salome

I work in people’s homes, cleaning and doing laundry and other chores. I am not educated so the only job I can get is cleaning.

Me

What quality do you like most in a man?

Salome

Kindness in a man. And hard working. I wish all men were like my father.

Me

What or who is your greatest love of your life?

Salome

God is my greatest love. I spend a lot of time reading his Word. I wanted to know so much about him that I learned to read by myself, even though I am not educated. Not everyone in my family believes the way I do. Black magic is commonly practiced here among women. They feel it gives them power. I get my power from God. He saved me from trying to kill myself.

Me

And my last question, is a fun question. What is your favourite colour?

Salome

I like red colours, bright reds.

Thank you, Salome, for the wonderful interview. I know you were nervous at first because your interview will go all over the world. But you did very well, and I am so delighted to have been able to interview you today. If any of you readers would like to read Salome’s story, click here to preview and purchase Helen Khan’s book Shrouds Over Eden.

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Unnoticed by Helen Khan

You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. Psalm 139: 2

Sometimes as wives we feel like the household drudge. And in some societies or dysfunctional families, that is what the wife is. As long as the food is cooked (To perfection, just the right amount of salt and spices please!), the dishes are done, the laundry washed, hung, dried and put away, the in-laws and children cared for, life goes smoothly without tension or abuse. Maybe you rise early, work all day and fall into bed exhausted. No one notices you until you don’t measure up to unattainable standards. Then everyone notices your failings.

Or maybe you have a quiet nature. If you were to give yourself a name it might be Introvert. You wander through school hallways and classes unnoticed. At home, you don’t seem to get the same attention that your siblings do, or maybe your parents are so busy in their careers or own life that they don’t have time for you. You feel like a nobody.

But, I would like to share with you that you are noticed, very much. There is One who knows when you sit down and when you stand up. He knows your every movement. He knows the number of hairs on your head. No parent or spouse knows that! And even when you are not thinking about God, he is thinking about you. His thoughts are always on you.

If you don’t really think about God, or know him, this might not be significant to you. You might want someone to come to you in flesh, put their arms around you and tell you how important you are, that they love you, intimately. But before you run away from his love, check him out. He has a father’s kind of love, that takes you in his arms even when you don’t know it. He longs to lead you with bonds of kindness and love, he longs to lift burdens from you and bend down to feed you. He wants to teach you to walk with confidence.

Will you give him a chance to heal you and turn your sorrow into joy?

Click Here to read Shrouds Over Eden by Helen Khan