O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
My eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
Too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with its mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
From this time forth and forevermore.
What a short, impactful psalm! I’ve heard of “one point sermons” and how some ridicule them as too simple, and yet their impact can be greater than seven points that vie for attention.
Let’s start first with his condition. His heart was not lifted up. In other words, he was not feeling on top of the world. Maybe he was a little emotionally down. Maybe he was just humbled. He was certainly feeling his humanity. I can relate.
He’s not trying to be a god. He realizes the world with all its complexity is out of his reach. For those of us who are trying to control the world around us, it’s a good thing to remember.
And all those questions beyond our reach about the mercy and judgment of God? Those are ok for us not to know the answer. Why some live and some die? Again, it’s ok for us not to know. Why does God allow evil in our life and in the lives of others?
Instead, we need to calm our soul. Take a deep breath. It’s an act of our will to not be anxious about things beyond our grasp. I’ve certainly had to do this with my cancer. Others have had to do it with their career or relationships. We can’t control life, nature or God.
Then there is a great description — a weaned child with his mother. I’ve been there, seeing the terror in a child’s eyes while being denied the breast, grabbing and trusting with all their body while I prepared something for them to eat.
Life-giving substance is so close. All we need to do is grab a tit. But it feels removed from us, out of reach, denied.
It’s time to quit trusting the tit, and trust the mother who provides for us.
She will continue to provide. She’s not going to let us starve. But we don’t know the ways of the kitchen, or even if there is something out there that will take meet of our needs. All we know is what we used to do is no longer working.
We need to trust. We need to calm our soul. God will provided in ways we know not of.
Being weaned is one of our first experiences with patience, with trust. We learned to calm our soul, the bottle is coming. But every once in a while, we forget how to do it. We get so frantic about the situation we are in, we forget we have a provider who never leaves us, who loves us more than we can comprehend.
Oh soul, be calm. God is here, from this time forth and forevermore.
(Let me know if you are reading this, or did I loose you my time of silence?!?)