O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD From this time forth and forever. Psalm 131:1-3 (NAS)
My oldest is back at college, which means my youngest is feeling a little lonesome. In the evenings, she likes to get her pajamas, have a glass of chocolate milk then head to my bed with me to read or watch television for a little while. In that quiet snuggly time I hear her heart. Sometimes it’s frustrations with the big kids, but more often it’s about what she and her Welsh corgi puppy, Watson, will do, whenever she actually gets a Welsh corgi puppy. Occasionally, she’ll fall asleep nestled against me. No question, it’s the most relaxing part of my day, too.
This is the picture I get of Psalm 131. This Psalm is one of the Songs of Ascent, sung by the worshippers on their way to Jerusalem for the feasts. Now imagine yourself in the middle of the hectic Christmas rush, with a million and seven things to do. You know that feeling? Anticipation mixed with anxiety seasoned with exhaustion. The Israelites could have easily been overtaken by the same type of frantic preparation. They were traveling, often in large family groups, plus there were sacrifices to secure, and rituals to observe.
But in this psalm, David gives some guidance on how to approach that time of worship, how to prepare our hearts and minds to enter God’s presence.
He starts with declaration of what worship is not about. He is not proud or haughty. It is not about him, his preferences, his comfort.
David says, “I don’t worry about things that are out of my hands. I know my limitations.” He sets aside all other concerns.
This is good part. He has taken the time and effort to compose and quiet his soul. He’s like a child who isn’t demanding his needs be met but just wants to be near his mother, comforted by her presence, not by what he gets from her.
The results: hope, and trust in God. When we come away from the quiet time in His presence, we leave knowing He is God, He is good, and He is in control.
I know the weekends are often busier than the work week, but I hope you carve out some quiet moments to simply be in God’s presence. It’s time well-spent.