1. O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
My eyes 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;
my soul is like a weaned child that is with me.
3. O Israel*, hope in the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
One of the greatest struggles of the spiritual life is finding a place of balance between pride and self-deprecation. The human spirit longs to soar and fill itself with grand and glorious exaltation. Yet, our life often brings us face to face with our limitations and shortcomings and we may wonder about our worth. At times, we struggle to know who we are and to know our own value. These feelings of unworthiness and thoughts of self-doubt are difficult to navigate, even in the best of circumstances.
Psalm 131 speaks to the space between pride and self-doubt, the place of humility. The psalmist speaks of a spirit that is balanced and at peace. The image of the weaned child offers a message of contentment and security. Ponder that analogy. Do we reach weaning moments, times when we have to let go of one understanding and perception in favor of something more mature? How do we travel through such letting go times?
I am reminded of the phrase that says, “It is not who you are, but whose you are that counts.” For all of its simplicity, these words remind us that ultimately our worth is determined, not because of what we have done or not done, but because we are loved. Most importantly, we are loved by God. The author of Psalm 131 has found that truth and its reward is beautiful.
*it may help to read ‘Israel’ as “God’s People”, for that is who they represent in this passage.