Be Calm and Quiet My Soul
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me. (Psalm 131:1-2)
I read these words from Psalm 131 and immediately the claws of conviction gripped my heart. I had been spending my time in the high and lofty places where “why’s” and “what if’s” permeate the air. It’s where weary souls go to question and demand knowledge which belongs only to the sovereign God of the universe. My pride was exposed; my distrust on display.
To be honest, the future scares me. I’m well aware of the risks at hand in this season we’re walking through. Some possibilities are small in the grand scheme of could be’s while others are life-altering. All of them, though, tempt me to fear the future. I find myself being “occupied with things too great for me.” My heart whispers to my eyes to rise up in search of details that aren’t mine and to worry about circumstances which may never come to pass.
Truly, my soul is not calm. Nor is it quiet. Rather, it’s chaotic and noisy—anxious and deafening. But rather than continuing to live in a state of fear and turmoil, I’m bringing truth to bear on my soul. I’m reminding myself of God’s goodness and faithfulness—that he will never allow anything to enter my life unless it is the best possible outcome, bringing the most good and sanctification into my life. I remind myself that he has my ultimate joy in Christ in mind with every plan he accomplishes in my life. For he is good, and he does good (Psalm 119:68).
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:5-6 ESV)
We have this promise, found in the pages of scripture, that God will turn every trial we face for good (Romans 8:28). He will remain a faithful and steadfast Rock on which we stand (Psalm 18:2). And nothing will be wasted. No pain, no sickness, no sorrow, no death, no depression, no brokenness—all of it will be used for our good and his glory, for the building of his kingdom (Romans 5:3-5). For this is the God who “turns a desert into pools of water and a parched land into springs of water.” (Psalm 107:35).
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. (Psalm 18:30 ESV)
This God—his way is perfect. His faithfulness is great and his love is steadfast—never ending. This is a God we can trust like a weaned baby trusts its mother. Newborn babies have an expectation of care and provision. They don’t worry over the future; they trust they will be cared for when they cry out for help. We, too, as children of God can expect that if our Father gave his only Son to save us, he will indeed provide everything we need (Romans 8:32).
These are the truths which calm and quiet the soul. No matter what waves of grief or storms of sorrow may enter our life, our God is a faithful refuge, turning everything for good and giving us more of himself. He is our portion; he is enough. Therefore, we have a hope which anchors the soul in the midst of the storm (Hebrews 6:19).
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:24 ESV)
Be satisfied, be still my soul. Jesus is near.