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Faith Focus

When you read it slowly, Psalm 131 forces you to meditate. It makes you relax, and in a sense it “calms and quiets the soul.” In a smooth rhythmic style, this psalm moves you into a quiet place of hope.

We are always journeying with God. There will never be a time or place in which we will be able to say, “we have completed our walk with God.” As Thomas Merton in his book Contemplative Prayer says, “we will never be anything else but beginners.”

Since we are always just beginning, we must constantly be learning and relearning lessons, especially the lesson in Psalm 131. We must learn to be like a weaned child with God. What I mean by that is we must learn to be content with God, simply because God is God.

A child before being weaned knows its mother as provider. The child depends on the mother for nourishment. However, once weaned, a child can no longer see the mother in the same way. The child must now learn to love the mother simply because she is mother, not for what she has to offer.

We know God as Creator, as Provider, but our journey requires us to venture deeper. We must learn to love God not only as Provider but also as God. Love God because God is love.

Time and time again, you must learn to place your identity, hopes, fears, pains and joys in God. Then “calm and quiet your soul.” Be well, knowing that God is God. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.”

Truthfully, I owe this reflection to Dr. Raymond Vanleeuwen. It was in his “Praise and Lament in the Psalms” class that I found more depth in this psalm. Thank you.

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. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.

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