Time For God: Day 26

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Psalm 131:1-2
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother…

In Kenya, in the 1990s, child mortality rates were tragically high. The loss of a child brings devastating pain. In Canada, the death of under-fives is thankfully less common. For every infant funeral in Vancouver, there were seventeen in Kenya. Successful weaning marks a time of great joy; infancy has been survived.

Halima was barely two years old when we buried her in the red soil of the tea fields. A wooden box was her simple coffin. In the highlands around 7,000 feet they dug her unmarked grave. Diarrhea and dehydration had completed their terrible work.

The mothers gathered there without tears, accepting what they described as the will of God. They displayed no attitude of entitlement, nor any presumption of a right to life. The missionaries joined them; they wept shamelessly, weighing God’s love.

Surviving the fragile stage of infancy, a weaned child moves to solid food. It relieves a nursing mother who is barely able to find food sufficient to ease stave off hunger.

According to rabbinical tradition weaning occurs from 18 months to 5 years. In an age of simplicity, the child is physically—and emotionally—dependent on a parent. Safety, food, and shelter lie far beyond the infant’s capacity to provide. No grand ambition motivates a tiny child. It rests calmly (mostly!) with its mother.

I read today’s Focus verses with a large measure of chagrin. Resting in God takes some daily practice. Human nature seems restless for nervous self-aggrandizement. I feel my heart pulling me toward self-interest. Stepping ahead of God’s will is futile; supplanting my plans for God’s purposes diverts me from my Pilgrim path.

The psalmist is familiar with a haughty heart; he recognizes cold ambition. In these verses he resolves to step back from vain activity. He chooses to rest in the Lord.

Did your labors falter and fail before you sought God as your Provider? What helps you to rely less on self-effort and more on God’s provision? Who might you invite to join you in the adventure of trusting God?

Lord of Glorious Might, You are able; I am not. Curb my need to control your world. I worship You in glad and faithful service. Grant me to know You whom to know is life indeed. I choose to trust you for the things too profound for me. Amen.