“My heart is not proud, oh Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. Oh Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.” Psalm 131
David learned how to talk to himself. When his soul was apathetic he would command his soul: “Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1) When he was slipping into depression he would tell himself to remember God and God’s future for him: “Why are you downcast, oh my soul; why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5) In today’s reading he is being tempted to slip into confusion and anxiety over questions that are outside of his control. His response? “I have stilled and quieted my soul…”
Notice that he didn’t ask God to still and quiet his soul, he said, “I have stilled and quieted my soul”. Christianity becomes very difficult when we try to control God’s part, or when we expect Him to do our part. You and I have control over our souls. We can let them run free, wherever they take us, or we can exercise our wills, like David did, and tell our souls what to do. Sometimes we simply need to preach the gospel to ourselves.
How do you do that? Your heart is full of worry and anxiety over all of life’s troubles and circumstances, so you decide to have a talk with your soul. “Stop worrying, Soul, and start trusting God. Jesus loves you and died for you. He’s not going to let you down if you turn to Him. He has come through in the past, and He is going to get you through this time, so stop your whining and start praising God.” It is amazing how our emotions will follow when we decide to trust God instead of giving in to all of our doubts and fears.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted…” (Psalm 46:10) Do you need to take a moment right now to be still, to cease striving, to stop manipulating, and just remember that He is God?