Have you ever noticed how kids get a death grip on toys when they are told to share? How when you try to tell them no, they take a mild fit? But they don’t just take a fit–they attempt to take it back stealthily. They’ll hit, grab or grasp to get back their treasured toy (treasured at that moment–two seconds later, it’s something else!)?
Kids don’t take kindly to loss, and in reality, neither do we.
Psalm 131:2 talks about a weaned child. “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
Now, if you’ve ever tried to wean a child and switch them to a bottle, you KNOW that this process does not happen without a fight. The child WANTS you. He doesn’t want to change the comforting process he’s known. And it ain’t happening over night. You slowly replace the afternoon feeding, then the evening feeding and then the morning feeding and with a sippy cup.
All of these changes are for the child’s good. He can’t go to school if he’s nursing. He needs a certain amount of independence and maturity.
David, who wrote the two-verse Psalm, Psalm 131, was a man after God’s own heart. He wrote about being able to rest in God like a weaned child–calm, without grasping or demands. He was peaceful and restful because he knew God’s love and His character.
And I wonder if we have a spirit of peace, rest and trust in God, or do we still cry and grasp at what we want like a child who is in the process of weaning. When we’re discontent, we’re grasping for something more.
So, what was David’s secret? It had to do with his inner man.
Verse one tells us about his thought life:
- My heart is not lifted up (humility)
- My eyes are not raised too high (not self seeking)
- I don’t occupy myself with things too great and marvelous for me (content where I am)
Sometimes spiritual immaturity is hard to pinpoint. Usually it looks like
1. Prideful ambition–Running ahead of God to do something you feel will give you value or honor. Trying to impress people, trying to be seen as something great, making a name for yourself, trying to be the “go to” person for everyone, needing to be needed so badly.
2. Refusing to face reality and your own limitation–trying to be something you are not, wishing you had something you don’t, spending inordinate energy on thinking about how good things would be if ______,seeking for respect because you want to be admired, not embracing your lot in life.
3. Envying others–wishing you had what they have, and not being happy for them. Have you ever found yourself unwilling to support or congratulate someone for a blessing or honor they received that clearly came from God, simply because you wished that God had given it to you? Yes, that.
But spiritual maturity starts when we accept our limitations, our sphere, our place in life and embrace them as God’s will.
There have been times in my life when I’ve wished for something more than God had given me. Especially when my kids were young and I was home with them all.day.every.day, I had this nagging feeling that my life was a waste. Oh, I knew about the importance of motherhood. I had experienced first hand the wonderful security of having a stay-at-home mom who was super involved in our life. I never thought of her life as a waste, but somehow, I felt as though those on the outside were doing the “big things.”
Peter was climbing the corporate ladder and was making presentations for the CEO of the largest, oldest life insurance company in New England. His role in ministry was teaching and visible. He was doing something that was not going to be undone in the next 12 hours, and my life was not like that at all. His work was what would last, I told myself. (Funny, one day he told me that he envied the fact that I could always be with the kids, taking them to the park, pool, lessons, etc.)
My work was always undone. I washed dishes, cooked meals, wiped noses, changed diapers and picked up toys. When I went to bed at night, all the same things I had done all day still needed to be done again. It was like being on a treadmill, always running but getting nowhere. I felt replaceable as a person, by just picking up the phone and dialing 1-800-MerryMaids.
When I finally realized that by bemoaning my lot in life, I was actually complaining against the providence and guidance of God, I changed my outlook by God’s grace. (Don’t think for a moment that Satan will not try to bring those thoughts back into your mind! He does, but they don’t have to “stick” in your mind.)
At some point along the line I realized that God is doling out the work and that one servant’s work cannot be considered more important than another’s. That I can cook, clean, support Peter and my kids, open my home in hospitality, cook meals for church functions and for shut-ins to the glory of God. In fact, when I embraced that outlook, God started opening doors of ministry for me in His time and in His way. Opening our home in hospitality has become the primary way that we minister to other people. Yes, we have our church ministries as well, but our heart for helping and encouraging people is accomplished mostly in our home.
So, my friend, my question for you today is this:
What good thing has God taken from you, so that He can give you what He deems best for you? Can you trust that He’s doing what is best for you in the long run? If God closes doors, or seems to block your way, can you trust that His way is perfect and best? Because,
God always “weans” us from good things, to give us the best.