A bare tree. A chill day. A high view.
Beginning low, and small, and simple — but growing like the images painted across his mind —
That leaves would come anew. Then flowers. Then the fruit…
And through that simple musing, more sense of soul than calculated figuring of mind, it birthed forth: a growing apprehension of the magnitude and power and providence of God.
It bloomed and ballooned huge and huger, and in that expansion his life changed forever, for he, like the coming leaves and flowers and fruit, was being born anew.
Not his gospel message, this (for his parents had long taught him in the things of Christ), but a providential watering and warming that woke to life that waiting seed planted in Brother Lawrence’s heart, that brought it suddenly out into shimmering light.
Ever after that, he entertained high thoughts of God — traveled them as stepping stones of soul, as means to lead him closer, closer to his Lord and Savior, so close he could sense God’s very presence, so close he could know his own entire being lay encompassed within its embrace.
“High thoughts of God.”
“We should feed and nourish our souls with them,” he taught — for they “would yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.”
How do we best do this? From whence do we call forth those high thoughts? From our own imaginations?
Never, A. W. Tozer warned in The Knowledge of the Holy. “A god begotten in the shadows of a fallen heart will quite naturally be no true likeness to the true God.” He assures us that idolatry isn’t just kneeling before some carved object. “The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.”
Tozer went on to affirm, and deepen, the advice of Brother Lawrence for us living in the now:
The heaviest obligation [of] the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God until it is once more worthy of Him… We do the greatest service to the next generation… by passing on to them undimmed and undiminished that noble concept of God which we received from our Hebrew and Christian fathers of generations past.”
And so can we,
by combing through their treasure, marking words that spotlight His glories and His greatness;
by jotting down just a verse, or two, perhaps, to carry in a pocket on a walk in summer stillness,
to draw out and read and ponder on, as the light filters soft down through full-blown leaves, to illumine the words of wonder,
and let them lift our hearts up and upward, beyond the branches or the beaches or the quiet streets,
to entertain high thoughts of God,
and bask in joy.
…..Who among the gods is like Thee, O LORD, majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? -Exodus 15:11 He that forms the mountains, and creates the wind, and declares to man His thought… -Amos 4:13 Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabits the praises of Israel. -Psalm 22:3 The high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy. -Isaiah 57:15