Enjoying peace in a tumultuous world
By Julie Hasling
In Psalm 131:2, David said, “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.” (NLT)
The cranky child syndrome
When I read this scripture, I think of the struggle it must be to wean a child from its mother. Long after the nourishment is gone, a child can become fussy as he is accustomed to the comfort of his mother’s breast. But a weaned child no longer cries in distress wondering where his next meal will come from but with quiet confidence waits, trusting that the next meal is already in the works (though he may not see it with his natural eyes). This is just the beginning stages of a lifelong trust in the parent who is always mindful of the child’s many needs.
In the opening verse, David so accurately refers the undisciplined soul to a self-centered, cranky child! All the noise and busyness of the mind—thedaily concerns and anxieties, on top of all of the conversations we have in our heads—especially those that are troubling, can become like an out-of-control toddler if not bridled and brought into submission to the Spirit of God. And it is this kind of confident quietude—a heart and soul that refuses to be disturbed by worry and weariness, that is so precious to God:
“…your beauty should come from within you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NCV)
The remedy—just do it!
You wanna be truly free? You wanna be blessed by the Lord? All that is needed is to believe God’s Word is true and do what it says! “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves… But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:22-25 NCV)
Some of you reading this can quote these scriptures backwards and forwards but are still struggling with the inability to enjoy real peace and tranquility of soul. You know, the opening verse was not meant to grace the walls of our homes but to become a permanent fixture in the walls of our hearts and souls! It takes consistent practice in doing what the Word of God instructs to enjoy the tremendous benefits that come from it! (1 Timothy 4:8)
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Time to grow up!
The Christian life’s journey is one of personal growth and spiritual maturity. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to become mature in Him. He wants us weaned from a place of constant “wanting” to a place of confident trust that He knows every detail of our lives (Psalm 37:23) and is always working (even in the bad times) to bring about good in us! (Romans 8:28)
Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 6:30-34 (MSG),“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.
…Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Let’s pray together:
Lord, I will not whine or complain about the things I cannot change. I choose not to live in turmoil! Like David did in Psalm 131:3, I quiet my heart and mind before you now. I am sorry for my restlessness, it is none other than unbelief!
Today, I will trust you and not be afraid. (Isaiah 12:2) I can trust you Jesus, because you love me and want the best for me. But you prefer a quiet trusting heart more than giving me what I think I want. I rest in the truth that you know better than I! The things I think are so important—the things thatcause me so much daily stress and anxiety, I now place in your capable hands, Lord. (Jeremiah 32:27)
I love you Jesus and thank you for being patient with me. There is no one else like you—you alone are God! (Deut. 33:26) Thank you for being so wonderfully good to me! (Psalm 86:5) You are my God, my Father, and my King! Amen!
Finally, let these words from the Lord permeate and settle down in your soul today! “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (Jeremiah 29:11 MSG)