Psalm 131

A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not proud, Lord,

    my eyes are not haughty;

I do not concern myself with great matters

    or things too wonderful for me.

But I have calmed and quieted myself,

    I am like a weaned child with its mother;

    like a weaned child I am content.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord

    both now and forevermore.

This phrase, “like a weaned child,” caught my attention and made me stop and think. Weaning is the process of helping someone live without something they’ve previously depended upon. In this case, the psalmist paints an illustration of a child that no longer needs his mother’s milk.

And I totally get it: Every child and every parent is going to have their own set time when this weaning happens. For me, when I picture a weaned child in my mind, I see a toddler. This little human bumbling around semi-unsteady, watching the world intently. Most toddlers often aren’t huge talkers. They’re just taking it all in, learning by observation from the people in their lives.

Preschoolers, on the other hand, seem to have moved past observation into analysis, constantly asking “why?” and never waiting around to hear the answer. They’re too caught up in being on the go.

The psalmist compares his relationship with God using the metaphor “like a weaned child I am content.” Content to simply watch and study the world. Content to trust. Content to purely be with the one who loves him.

I am not great at being content. I rush and hurry. I set goals and chase after them. I ask questions to learn new things. I want to take in all that I can. I am on the go- like a preschooler always asking “why?”

This psalm was written by David, a man we know a lot about in the Bible. He was a shepherd boy who defeated a giant. He was promised to be king but hid in hiding for years. He fought battles, inspired armies, and wrote psalms. He was someone who knows what it is like to set out to complete a task and see it carried through, to seek out knowledge and understanding, to do all he can. He knew ambition.

And yet he writes, “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself…” Perhaps he had realized that the greatest thing he could learn or achieve was to be calm and content, resting in the assurance and dependance on God.

When today’s worries want to overwhelm, when the questions of tomorrow want to quench our joy, what if we decide that our security isn’t found in finding the right answers or chasing after the next goal? What if, instead, we place our trust in the one who knows and loves us best: our Heavenly Father.

“Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”

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About the Author: Julianne Gibbons
Julianne is a disciple of Jesus, a pastor, a wife, and a mama to four littles. She believes life is lived best alongside others and loves inviting people into her home to witness the craziness and fullness of what it looks like to love and follow Jesus as a family. Julianne has been a Small Groups Pastor at 2|42 since 2018 and really believes that small groups are the best place to practice what it looks like to go+be the church.

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