Psalm 131(NASB) A Song of Ascent – Trust and hope in the Lord
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty. Nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, my soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord, from this time forth and forever.
This short and relatively calm Psalm is one of a group of fifteen (Psalms 120-134) also known as the Pilgrim Songs, which were traditionally sung by Jews as they climbed the high hill to Jerusalem. Their themes range from distressful calls for help, asking for deliverance from enemies, prayers for peace, then praising God with calls for brotherly unity, and finally asking for God’s blessings. Reading them all together is like an emotional rollercoaster, but Psalm 131 feels like a peaceful break from all the anxiety, pain, and fear. The writer talks about quieting their soul and finding hope in the Lord.
Sometimes I struggle to find calm and hope—especially in the midst of COVID, with so many loud political voices spreading vitriol in our country, and now with the war in Ukraine. This Psalm calls me to be humble, to quiet my soul, and to have childlike trust in the Lord, but that isn’t easy to do.
Psalm 131 reminds me to be intentional about taking that kind of spiritual rest on this uphill journey of life. I do that through spiritual practices like prayer and reading scripture, but also by taking timeouts from the news and practicing self-care—getting regular exercise, eating delicious foods, spending fun times with loved ones, keeping up with friends, and following bedtime rituals to ensure a good night’s sleep. Then, once my soul is quiet and calm, I can continue on life’s journey and deal lovingly with the challenges ahead.
Dear Lord, Please help me quiet my soul to find peace and hope during difficult times. Amen.