“But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.”
Psalm 131:2

As a mother of three sons, two of whom I had the blessing of nursing as infants, those words spoke to me in this Psalm. Weaning a child is letting go of that extended time of closeness, that feeling of being needed for sustenance from the standpoint of mom and child. In the end, the child still finds the comfort he or she needs in mom’s (or dad’s) arms snuggled close, though now he or she isn’t completely dependent. My grown sons still call me sometimes when they need encouragement or comfort when dealing with the uncertainty and harshness of life. That connection is still there though much less needed as when they were little.

The NRSV’s translation of verse 2b—“my soul is like the weaned child that is with me” makes me believe that each of us has a soul that still longs for that comfort and feeling of security when the cold, cruel world becomes too real. When our drive for success in work and relationships leaves us feeling empty, where do we turn? When we become too self-reliant and our focus becomes temporal or concerned with the temporary things of this life rather than eternal, we look for the calm and quiet security that is missing.

What was David being weaned from? Self-sufficiency, self-will, self-seeking? Charles Spurgeon said, “Blessed are those afflictions which subdue our affections, which wean us from self-sufficiency, which educate us into Christian manliness, which teach us to love God not merely when he comforts us, but even when he tries us.”

Can you think of things you’ve gone through or times when in trying to do life in your own strength, God allowed you to fall flat on your face? I sure can, more than I want to remember. But I also remember the many times that He has been my source of comfort and security in the storms, especially the ones I created myself. I learned from those times to rely more on Him than I did myself and that He allowed those times because He loved me and wanted me to learn that He was my source of everything. I love what the Psalmist says in Psalm 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” He loves it when I run and hide under His wings just as I love it when my children need my comfort and assurance. We can easily feel overwhelmed with things happening all around us, but pray with me Psalm 36:7 that says, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” I love the visual of doing just that; how about you?

Deb Hill

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