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. 2 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. Psalm 131:1-3
Through the Bible reading: Psalm 131, 138, 139, 143, 144, 145
God’s Word overwhelmingly chooses masculine imagery and pronouns for God. But every once in awhile, it surprises you with a tender, nurturing, feminine metaphor for the Almighty. When it does, take note, because there’s something God wants to teach you in the tenderness.
David describes the ultimate rest and quiet for his soul like nap time with his mother. Today, I am especially thankful for this. I’m still reflecting on my mom’s passing, two years ago yesterday. Yesterday, I posted about nap time with my mom, and all I learned from her on those precious afternoons.
And, God, in God’s tenderness, orchestrated our chronological reading plan so that this Psalm would be the first Psalm I read on this day. Like a mother, God always knows what we need to hear at exactly the right time.
I wonder when David wrote this. We are probably more familiar with the arc of David’s life than any other figure in Scripture. There was David the shepherd boy. David the Giant Killer. David the King. David the Fugitive. So at what point did David write this description of his soul as quiet as a weaned child in his mother’s lap?
Was it when he was young, and wrestling with life’s big questions? Who will I marry? What will I do with my life? Does God have a plan for me?
When there are so many questions your brain hurts, remember nap time with your mother.
Was it in midlife? Was this giant killer; this slayer of tens of thousands; this leader of thirty mighty men beginning to get full of himself?
When your eyes become proud and your heart becomes haughty, remember nap time with your mother.
Was it late in life, when he was perhaps consumed by his mistakes? Was it when this adulterer and murderer became a refugee from his own capital city when his son turned against him? When he was so overcome with grief and regret that he longed for the time before it all went wrong?
When it feels like your world is beyond fixing, remember nap time with your mother.
In my mother’s lap, I never had to worry. The world’s problems were both far away and fixable. I could rest knowing that my input wasn’t required. And oh, how often I long for that kind of rest today.
Beloved, we don’t outgrow our need for nap time. If anything, we grow into it. There is a special kind of rest that can only happen in the arms of God, the perfect parent.
Who provides for you like a father.
Who protects you like a warrior.
Who holds you like a mother.
And who loves you far past the point where simile and metaphor fall short.