“Stilled and Quieted?” - April 2, 2020
“But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother.” Psalm 131:2
As we continue our journey through these times of challenge and stress in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are learning humility. I was reminded of that this week when someone opened an online meeting by reading Psalm 131 which begins by saying, “My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty.”
The humility exemplified by the poet in Psalm 131 comes from his posture of utter dependency on God. The poet’s attitude of humility runs directly counter to our common drive to independence, self-sufficiency, and autonomy. If there is a lesson we’ve learned so far in these last weeks, it involves giving up on the idea that we live and move and have our being only in our own strength and power, thinking that we are in control.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Walter Brueggemann says, ‘this [verse] is an affirmation of the serenity and well-being of one who trusts in God’s motherly care.’ The poet gladly accepts his dependency on God because he understands that it is precisely in that dependency that he can receive the fullness of what God has to offer. It is precisely in this dependency the poet receives the nourishment and the life and the hope that is needed.
This sense of dependency on God that comes out of true humility frees us up to receive the love, the hope, the life that truly nourishes us. Interestingly Ps.131 ends with a call to hope.
“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.”
That’s stillness. That’s quiet. That’s peace in God. That’s what we can all use.
PRAYER ENCOURAGEMENT: Dear God, it is sometimes hard to say but we are the children, you are the parent. We are the creatures, you are the Creator. Help us to practice true humility, knowing that we can place our trust and hope in you. Nourish us in stillness and quiet so that we may have life in Jesus Christ. Amen.