Childlike Trust

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.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
Psalm 131

This morning I spent my devotional time in the Psalms, and in doing so came across this three-versed song. The poet’s words cut to the core of my heart, quieting my own soul with their short, yet strong, simplicity. The image of the child reminded me of a story Madeleine L’Engle related in her book Walking on Water. She wrote about a time when her nine-year old granddaughter, Lena, had been hit by a truck and had to be in the hospital for the summer. She was amazed that Lena never questioned why this had happened to her, never asked for a reason for her pain. Madeleine writes, “A child will never feel self-pity unless some adult is stupid enough to suggest it. And he reminds us that courage, which we grown-ups make so much of, is for the child the most natural thing in the world.”

Children often exhibit much greater trust than adults. They don’t involve themselves in things too great or too difficult. Instead they put faith in their parents, in the doctor, in God. And because they trust, because they are resting against something other than their feeble selves, they have hope. Adults somehow think that with age should come control and independence. So they go and involve their selves in great matters that are too difficult for them, which leads to unrest, which leads to hopelessness.

After reading Psalm 131, I know that all of my burdens and fears are too difficult for me, and I must surrender everything to God. I cannot carry them by myself, and if I do, I see that it will lead to weariness and despair. Instead, I will give them to God, to Him who has “searched me and known me.” I will have childlike trust and rest against my heavenly Father. And I will hope in the Lord, today, tomorrow, and forever.

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