Read Psalm 131
1 Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I don’t concern myself with matters too great
or too awesome for me to grasp.
2 Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,
like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.
Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—
now and always. (NLT)
There are different ways of being with God. One is by active service, rolling up our sleeves and seeking to advance his rule by working for justice and peace. Another is by study, applying our minds to better understand the ways of God and his purposes for his world. Or we can be engaged in corporate worship and sing our songs and say our prayers and listen to his Word proclaimed.
In all these things we are ‘doing’ something: and nothing at all wrong with that! But our Psalm reminds us that we can be with God in a different way again. King David knew all about those other ways of being with God, but here he describes being merely present with God. Not doing anything in particular. Nothing on the agenda apart from sheer companionship.
An unweaned child will want her mother in order to be fed. The love for the mother is tied up with need for what the mother provides. A weaned child goes to his mother simply to be with her, for companionship. In a similar way, it is good for us to seek God for his own sake as well as seek him for the blessings he offers us.
Withdrawing into the arms of God is not a surrender to passivity, nor is it escapism. It is finding our footing in an insecure world. It is locating ourselves in the reality that is beyond all our other realities.