Child-Like Trust in the Lord
by Shawn McEvoy
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
Psalm 131:1-2, NAS
This song, like many of the Psalms, was written by David – the man who would be Israel’s greatest king. Is David who comes to mind when you think of someone “not involved in great matters” (kingdom conflicts, maybe)? Or unbothered by “things too difficult” (slaying a giant, anyone)? No, to me, this doesn’t really sound like David. Doesn’t really sound like me most of the time either.
Let’s take a quick look at three things that stand out about this little Psalm:
1) Attitude. David’s “heart” – his inner being, his spirit, is not proud… of things he’s done, of where he’s been and where he’s going… but neither is he beating himself up. He is just… content.
2) Appetite. David’s “eyes” – his senses – are not haughty. He’s not seeking to please them. He doesn’t have the look of arrogance. He knows Whose he is, and that his needs are met not of himself. He is not restless to feed like an infant, he is not stalking around asking to eat out of boredom like my 2-year-old.
3) Aptitude. David places the responsibility for this peaceful state upon himself. Not circumstances, not achievements, not even on God. “Surely I have quieted my soul,” he says.
Taken all together, this shows us what trust looks like, and helps us understand why trusting God brings such soothing peace. Jesus said we must have faith like children to come to Him. Apparently, trust is also best exemplified in little ones.
David’s “talk” is of not being proud; his “walk” then backs it up by what he “involves” (or doesn’t involve) himself in. This doesn’t mean God hasn’t given him – or you – important stuff to get done, just that David has “declared himself free from excessive ambition” (Ryrie study notes).
To sing not of self, to seek not to fill the senses, to seek the will only to be quiet before God – that is trust. A “weaned child” knows instinctively where to find trust. By extension, and through the example of “the man after God’s own heart,” so do we.
Intersecting Faith & Life: “Involve” yourself in a small, humble matter today – perhaps a child’s squabble, creating a meal, or going for a walk – and see if you can compose your soul.