My January “Happy New Year” greetings have lacked some enthusiasm. 2021 feels much the same to me so far! Where are we to find restfulness in such turbulent times? Consider Psalm 131. Here are three truths for contentment independent of circumstances. One, learn humility. “My heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high” (1a). David suffered no illusions of over-inflated self-importance. He refused pride—what Proverbs calls “haughty eyes.” Two, choose composure (1b-2). Whatever the circumstances, he made a choice. “I do not occupy myself with things too marvelous for me.” The Hebrew word for marvelous means difficult or high. David didn’t obsess over what he couldn’t control. He refused an arrogance that wigged out over stuff above his pay grade.
So, what might that look like if we embraced the same humility and resolve? “I have calmed and quieted my soul. Like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” A post-weaned child acts very differently around its mother’s breast than a famished pre-weaned child. It is almost comical to watch an infant’s frantic actions anticipating latching on for mom’s milk! But once weaned, it’s a whole different matter. When it comes time for snuggling, there is restfulness and contentment. David testifies that his learned humility works its way out in his life by a consistent choice of weaned-childlike composure—a manner which rests calmly at every turn on the bedrock sovereignty of God’s providence in all things. This is an Isaiah 26:3-4 calm. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Three, sustain hope. “O Israel, hope in the LORD” (3). Bow before God.
Rest on God. Hope in God. When? Always. “From this time forth and forevermore.” Never ever give up on Him! In the face of whatever challenges 2021 may bring of a too great, marvelous, difficult, and above-our-paygrade nature, let our anchor ever be this: hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Find your unshakeable restfulness in God through Jesus.