What’s your favorite way to relax? And when I say relax, I mean relax. I’m not talking about the twenty minutes you stare at your phone after you park the car. I mean the real deal, the unwind, the total calm.
The Bible has a lot to say about rest and calm. And right at the center of it all, is a practice called meditation. (Don’t freak out on me.) Meditation is the practice of focusing our attention on God’s Word. It’s the idea of giving our whole mind to God and His Word.
That’s what I’ve been doing lately: meditating. It’s not a practice of emptying my mind, but filling it with God’s Spirit. This week, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 131. It’s a wonderful little Psalm.
Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Here’s what really hit me as I meditated on this wonderful Psalm–it gives both the problem and the solution.
Lots of us might skip to the end and think, “Hope! That’s exactly what I want my life to look like.” But there are two very important steps that precede that declaration.
- David’s heart was not haughty, and his eyes were not lofty.
- He calmed himself like a weaned child.
These two pieces are crucial to living the life of hope that we long to live. Both of these important steps are a form of maturity. David took responsibility for his own life and actions. He understood that he needed humility and he needed to quiet his own soul.
Often we go into life situations without humility, waiting for God to quiet us. When this is our attitude, all of the Divine comfort in the world won’t calm us.
Take a moment to consider these two areas of your own life.
Is there anywhere you need to humble yourself? Humility is a painful process. It forces us to admit we don’t have all the answers. It sends us to our knees before God, asking him for his wisdom.
Where have you become anxious, troubled, angry, or frustrated? How can you quiet yourself before God. Think about the picture David paints here! If you’ve ever seen a child with its mother while its still nursing, versus when it’s on solid food, you know what he’s talking about. A nursing infant is fussy, it connects “Mom” with instant food and gratification. A child who isn’t nursing, sees “Mom” as a comfort separate from what she can give the child.
If we humble ourselves, quiet our souls, the end of our faith will be the same as the psalmist. We will become beacons of hope in a world that desperately needs it.
So I want to know, what are you doing to quiet your soul? If you’re not sure where to start, take a few moments to read Psalm 131, and meditate on it. Get quiet and humble before the Lord and let him restore your hope.