Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Psalm 131 and Waiting

"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 love reading the Psalms, because you really get to see David experience and respond to the full spectrum of human trials and adventures, and chances are I will find a response to empathize with; or more often it seems that he is empathizing with me.

Psalm 131 has been speaking that empathizing word into my ear this week. For as long as I can remember, literally, ambition has been a central player in my life strategy. In high school, working my way to holding the position of captain on the cheer squad and dance company (don't judge me, ha); in middle school, starting a club called Kids For Hope, with the goal of helping other kids (we collected dues and everything); in kindergarten, when one sad day I forgot to wear underwear to school, and made my very own paper panties during craft time. Ambitious indeed.

For possibly the first time in my life I feel the Lord saying to me, "Stop. Wait. Not now." I went to a youth conference in high school where the theme was "Now Is The Time." Well, if my life has a theme at this moment, it is "Now Is NOT The Time." Interesting, because as Americans we are cultured to be ambitious people. Not pursuing a greater end is often considered laziness, and being content with where we are in life is looked upon with elitist condescension. And yet, this is still where I find myself.

This new position in life is not for lack of direction. On the contrary, I believe God is very definitively telling me that this IS to be my current direction. A direction of waiting. Waiting on Him. We all go through days in our lives which call us to "wait on the Lord," but I think a season of waiting is a little different. Perhaps it is the intentionally patient walking beside the Lord, without lifting up my heart to something greater and without raising up my eyes to find my future.

As the Psalm says, "like a weaned child with it's mother... is my soul within me." I think about the time when my son was still nursing. He would grope and grab and rood. He would dream about nursing (and we would stand over him and laugh, of course). He would cry and fuss and flail his arms, until he finally achieved the goal. Then he went into that special milk drunk heaven. Finally satisfied. Now that he is weaned, he can sit calmly beside me and wait for me to give him what I know he needs for that moment. What a difference. And of course, you can see the correlation. In a season of rest and waiting, God calls us to trustingly walk beside Him and allow Him to give us what He knows we need for the moment.

It is so easy to occupy ourselves with things that are too great and too marvelous for us... for this moment. It's not that my dreams and ambitions are being shot out of the sky by some tyrant who just wants to bind me to the home (oh the horror this would bring on my life!!); it's that a loving God is teaching me the importance of humbly conquering the small things, that He might prepare me to do that great and marvelous thing that He has given me to do, in the right time, in the right season. "Blessed is the man [whose]... delight is in the law of the LORD. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season." Psalm 1:1-3

For this moment, God is calling me to be a leader in my son's life. That is the great and marvelous thing for this time. Maybe in the future I will lead more people, but I know that now is not the season for that. And not only would it be naive of me to hold onto that ambition now that I've heard the word of God over this time in my life, it would be sinful.

I am so thankful that the Lord is teaching me how to calmly and quietly set my soul before him, like a child, trusting that He knows the future as it should be. Contrary to what western society would have us believe, the "grab it by the horns" mentality is not always God's mentality. But we can always, always, ALWAYS know that His ways will take us farther in life than we could ever have imagined on our own.

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