I am sure each one of us has seen a baby sitting on a mom’s lap who wants to eat. The baby is rooting around looking for something, really anything to latch on to. It wants its milk, and it wants it now! There is no reasoning with a baby that is looking to nurse. You can’t assure it of its mother’s love and tell it that things will be okay. If that baby does not get what it wants in a timely manner, you and everyone in earshot will know the baby’s complaint. I am also sure that you have seen a baby who no longer nurses sitting in the lap of its mother. It is oftentimes just happy to be near the mom, not wanting anything but to be close. This baby has been weaned; it doesn’t rely on its mother’s body to produce the food that sustains it. This baby is content to lean against the mother’s breasts without needing to be attached and taking from the mom.
In Psalm 131, David relates to the weaned child. “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me” (v. 2) In the opening of the psalm David talks about how his “heart is not lifted up” and how his eyes “are not raised too high.” He is making a confession of humble dependence on his Father. He isn’t trying to understand all of life, and in fact, he sees he cannot understand all of life. He says that he does not occupy himself “with things too great and too marvelous” for him. He is placing all of his hope in the love, power, and care of his Father. He is displaying the childlike faith that Jesus commends in Matthew 18:3 when he said, “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This faith is completely stripped of its own merit. This faith reclines upon the bosom of another and trusts that all that is needed will be given. This faith is weaned from its own understanding of what needs to happen for life to be sustained, and it believes. This faith confesses the validity of Jesus’s words when he tells us that we don’t need to worry about tomorrow. We don’t need to worry about what we will eat or what we will drink. We can with great confidence rest in the care of our heavenly Father. He knows what you need. He invites you to calm and quiet your soul.
I would like to tell you all that I have learned this discipline that I am like a weaned child living in full quietness, confident in God’s love and care for me. I cannot. I oftentimes am restless and full of anxiousness, wondering what is going to happen next, wondering if God will continue to take care of me. The glorious news of the gospel is that even in my restless, anxious wondering, God looks at me and sees His Son’s perfect record of saying, “Not my will but yours be done.” I am no longer considered the petty, small-minded, suspicious child concerned about my next meal. I am now the Son who knew that the Father’s love would sustain. I am forgiven for my lack of faith. I am forgiven for my lack of trust. I am accepted wholly in the Beloved.
It is that good news that gives me the courage to say what David says in verse 3 of this psalm, “O Israel, hope in the Lord for this time forth and forevermore.” Beloved child of God, hope in the Lord. He has provided your greatest need. He has raised you from the dead and given you life. He has taken you out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred you into the kingdom of his beloved Son. He has forgiven every single one of your trespasses. He has made you as the righteous One. Put your hope in the Lord, not only for the trials of today but for the assurance that he will keep you until the end.