“I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2
Miley Cyrus’ most famous hit song, “Party in the USA” tells the story of a girl feeling out of place in a different part of the country. Both in terms of fashion and relationships, she finds herself out of accord and homesick, that is, until the DJ plays her song, she is free to put her hands up, and enjoy the party - letting the “butterflies fly away” for a moment. While “Party in the USA” is a fun, light-hearted song, it has always reminded me of the old saying: “a little thing afflicts us because a little thing comforts us”.
Psalm 131 invites us to a place of contented rest in the promises of God’s grace and provision. It offers us a look at a heart that is composed, calm, and satisfied because Jesus and all that he is doing and has done is enough for any occasion or experience. The questions naturally arise, “How does a heart get that way? What is the process of becoming quiet, composed, and contented?”
In contrast to the fleeting comforts of a DJ playing your song, the Gospel offers solid joys and lasting pleasures; therefore, our growth in grace is a process of weaning ourselves off the endless string of diversions and trinkets that offer “little comforts” and temporary, fleeting contentment.
Verse 2 describes the process of how to have a “weaned soul”: It is an intentional, deliberate process. The process is not seamless and easy but hard won, across the grain, and progressive. Weaning a child from its mother’s milk is not a one-time, silver bullet type of thing. It requires time and patience and trust. The process is not primarily an act of the will but an affair of the heart.
We must become aware of the lesser hopes and momentary distractions that create noise and discontent in our hearts, and we must become aware of the “ladders” we climb hoping to get out of the brokenness and noise that is in our hearts. For some of us “ladders” look like:
The process means toppling over the ladders, pulling masks off the lesser hopes, and settling an issue in your heart that hoping in the Gospel is the only means to the calm, contented, and quieted heart.
Engage the process today because Jesus holds you in a way that you cannot fall. He gives us the courage to go into the dark places of our hearts and shine the illuminating light of the Gospel so that we can change – so that we can calm our hearts by the bedrock truths of the gospel! Don’t settle for anything less.