A calmed soul

Posted on · Posted in Godward Orientation

Normally, we don’t associate young children and calmness. But in Psalm 131 David compares the condition of his heart with that of a young weaned child being comforted by his mother’s presence.

Think about how amazing this is. David is the king. He has all of the pressures of life and leadership. Yet he uses the image a weaned child being comforted by the presence of his mother to show his trust in God.

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. ESV
Psalm 131:1-2

David is content and satisfied with his God. The child is secure in the presence of his mother. The response of the weaned child is so profound and recognizable that the Holy Spirit is able to use it as a universal image that speaks to you and me 3,000 years later.

David’s response flows from his contentment with God. This weaned child is satisfied with quiet presence of his mother. He no longer nurses, but he still trusts.

David is showing us that for calmness to occur you must first be satisfied in your relationship with Christ. (Matthew 11:28-30) That means resting completely in Christ’s care for you. It means not judging the quality of your relationship with Christ by the circumstances of your life. The presence of God is sufficient, yet we often want more. We want circumstances to change in ways that please us.

God is the strength and portion of my heart. I don’t need the cancer to be gone, I don’t need people’s approval, I don’t need problems to go away to know the comfort of God. Like David, I need to occupy myself with my God, just like a weaned child resting the presence of his mother.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.