Psalm 139, “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.”
I find myself continually being drawn to this verse. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of grains of sand in all the earth. My mind cannot fathom the depth of God’s loving thoughts for my life. However, being the numbers girl that I am, I took to the internet to find what other people have estimated as the total number of grains of sand in all of the earth, then I did some math on my own.
I have found two conservative estimates. Some researchers at the University of Hawaii set out to estimate the grains of sand on Earth, which seems fitting considering the percentage of Hawaii that is composed of beaches. They had the smallest estimation I found at 7.5 x 10^18 (7,500,000,000,000,000,000). According to the Math Dude, there are an estimated 5.6 x 10^21 (5,600,000,000,000,000,000,000) grains of sand on the earth. The discrepancy you see between these two could very easily be one accounting for only beaches and the other accounting for beaches and desserts. Regardless, these are HUGE estimates that are beyond our mind’s ability to even comprehend, so let’s break them down.
Coming from the perspective of Psalm 139, let’s assume one grain of sand represents one thought from God about us. Now let us also assume that every person will live exactly 100 years because it is a nice round number that makes math easier. With a quick 60 seconds times 60 minutes times 24 hours times 36,525 days (100 years plus 25 leap days) calculation, we come to the conclusion that a 100 year life has over 3 billion seconds (3,155,760,000 to be exact). If we divide those two giant sandy estimates by this 3.15 billion seconds, we would get the number of thoughts per second that God thinks about us. If University of Hawaii was correct about their estimate, God would be thinking about us over 2.3 billion times per second. If the Math Dude is correct, God would be thinking about us over 1.7 trillion times per second.
I know. It is still mind-blowing. I mean, can you even think of 100 thoughts of love and kindness toward yourself, or anyone else for that matter? Yet God is thinking 17 billion times that amount every second! And let me clarify something. God is not up there thinking thoughts of condemnation, regret, hate, anger, but of love. God’s love for you and for me, is vast. He can’t stop thinking about us.
So, what would happen if we started to allow God to tell us His thoughts toward us? How would that completely alter our frame of mind? This God of the Universe is literally thinking of me every second of every day. No matter what I am doing or where I am or how I am feeling, I cannot escape God’s loving kindness. I have been stuck on one thought He has for me for the last year and trying to let Him mold me into the image of that thought. Yet, He has continually thought billions more thoughts about me. I want to hear more of His thoughts of love for me because it also draws me closer to His heart of love, but I’m glad I have all of eternity to listen and learn. The numbers tell me it will take at least that long.