The Thought of God (Hymn)

Jay Forrest

The thought of God, the thought of Thee,
    Who liest in my heart,
And yet beyond imagined space
    Outstretched and present art,

The thought of Thee, above, below,
    Around me and within,
Is more to me than health and wealth,
    Or love of kith and kin.

The thought of God is like the tree
    Beneath whose shade I lie,
And watch the fleets of snowy clouds
    Sail o’er the silent sky.

’Tis like that soft invading light,
    Which in all darkness shines,
The thread that through life’s sombre web
    In golden pattern twines.

It is a thought which ever makes
    Life’s sweetest smiles from tears,
And is a daybreak to our hopes,
    A sunset to our fears;

One while it bids the tears to flow,
    Then wipes them from the eyes,
Most often fills our souls with joy,
    And always sanctifies.

Within a thought so great, our souls
    Little and modest grow,
And, by its vastness awed, we learn
    The art of walking slow.

The wild flower on the messy ground
    Scarce bends its pliant form,
When overhead the autumnal wood
    Is thundering like a storm.

So is it with our humbled souls
    Down in the thought of God,
Scarce conscious in their sober peace
    Of the wild storms abroad.

To think of Thee is almost prayer,
    And is outspoken praise;
And pain can even passive thoughts
    To actual worship raise.

O Lord! I live always in pain,
    My life’s sad undersong,
Pain in itself not hard to bear,
    But hard to bear so long.

Little sometimes weighs more than much,
    When it has no relief;
A joyless life is worse to bear
    Than one of active grief.

And yet, O Lord! a suffering life
    One grand ascent may dare;
Penance, not self-imposed, can make
    The whole of life a prayer.

All murmurs lie inside Thy Will
    Which are to Thee addressed;
To suffer for Thee is our work,
    To think of Thee our rest.

By Frederick W. Faber (1814-1863)

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Jay N. Forrest is a Christian mystic in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. He is the author of The Deeper Life: Finding God on the Mystic Path.

Jay N. Forrest was an ordained Pentecostal minister for over two decades pastoring churches in Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennesse, and Arizona. He did his undergraduate work at Central Bible College and Global University, and he received his Doctorate of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Christian University. He is a Certified Meditation Teacher and a full-time hospice chaplain.

Scripture Quotations

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition. Copyright © 2021 National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scriptures marked NKJV are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.