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.
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.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord — now and always. (NLT)
Is our God a means we use to achieve a particular end, or is he the end in itself? This short Psalm poses just this question. The image is striking: an infant still breast feeding seeks its mother because it needs the milk the mother provides. An infant who is not breast feeding is free to go to its mother simply to rest and to be with her.
Of course we come to God with our urgent needs, just as an unweaned child might frantically struggle for its mother. But it is so great when we seek God as an infant seeks its mother just for the pleasure of the company.
We have lost the art of stillness. Our prayer meetings and church gatherings are full of words. Only as we cease our restless speaking and doing will we find out what truly needs to be said and done. God has become the means by which we grow our church or overcome our problems.
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And to stress again that these things are right and true. But they are not the final story. How sad it would be if those who claim to love us only came to us when they wanted something from us. How sad if our relationship with God degenerates into something merely functional.
We are to come to God with our concerns but also more often without a particular agenda. He is not simply the means by which I attain my goals. He is my goal.