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.
2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Some time ago I happened to be at a gathering of adults. We imagined that we were talking about important things. Perhaps we were. I honestly don’t remember what we were talking about so it must not have been quite so momentous. But I do remember one thing of that event. The daughter of one of the participants was dropped off and she spent the time with us as well. I would have put her at about 3 years old. It was not a space conducive to a child’s play. She sat on his lap, leaned her head against his chest and quietly looked at a book for a while. Then she slept. I can close my eyes and still conjure up that beautiful image of that child sleeping in the arms of her father.
The psalmist says that he has calmed and quieted his soul, like a weaned child with his mother. I read those lines and I think of that little girl, quietly sitting on her father’s lap. The psalmist does not lift his eyes too high or occupy himself with things too great and marvelous for him. He is content with what is his. And what is his? It is lofty in its own way. He hopes in the Lord and encourages us to join him in that trust, now and forevermore. How many restless nights have I spent tossing and turning, worrying about things which belong to God’s care? Luther recommends that we take all our troubles, lay them at God’s feet in prayer and go to sleep. He will take care of them to our blessing. He promises as much. Are you worried about things which you cannot control, or which are not yours? It is a hard habit to break and sometimes such anxieties can overwhelm anyone. The psalmist urges us to take stock of our status in the greater scheme of things. Much of what gives us ulcers in fact belongs to God to solve. Hope in the Lord. Do not occupy yourself with matters too great and marvelous for you. Know that God loves you. Rest in his arms like a weaned child in the arms of his mother.