“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.”
( Psalm 131:1-2 )
We can easily get caught-up in the patterns of the world. Pursuing huge ambitions; building up a pride centered on our achievements; trying to manhandle things on our own that exceed our understanding… all of these stir up within us a storm of dissatisfaction in the heart and soul regarding our own lives.
As children of God, we are to be introspective, recognizing the condition of our entire being. Most of the time, we can see clearly just how calm or stormy the sea of our life is.
When we are stormy with dissatisfaction, we can do what the psalmist wrote. He calmed himself, he quieted himself, he decided to become content.
It is our decision, and it is then Christ Who provides the power to do so. The Apostle Paul also wrote about his own secret to contentment:
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation… I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
( Philippians 4:12-13 )
Yes, Jesus can calm any storm of life without our “help,” but… He wants us to learn (like the Psalmist and Paul) how to calm the storms of discontentment raging within us by using HIS power, HIS authority, and HIS word.
Some years ago during a particularly difficult time, I felt like God had forgotten me. Theologically I knew that He had not left me, but emotionally I REALLY felt like He had left me.
While I was praying and pouring out my heart, a scripture reference flashed through my mind. Not recognizing it, I had to look it up. Here is what it says:
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
~ Isaiah 49:15
My emotions went from feeling abandoned and forgotten to feeling flooded with encouragement.
After prayer I needed to run an errand. When I started the car, the radio came on as usual. A song began and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. It was a song that I had not heard before, sung by Brian Duncan. The song was titled, “I’ll Not Forget You.”
Whatever you might be going through, even if your theology is solid, your emotions might to drained leaving you feeling forgotten by God.
But… Today, this posting is your “song on the car radio.” God is speaking to you: You are never forgotten, you are Always Remembered!
Be of good cheer, my friend. The Creator of the universe has His heart and His eyes set firmly on you every second of every day!
Are you “just” a fisherman or a blue collar worker? Do you consider yourself too uneducated, too unrefined, too rough-and-tumble, or too shy around people to be called by Christ to some kind of ministry?
In Mark 1, Jesus emptied part of the local fishing marina by calling some fishermen to follow Him.
Consider for a moment what Christ accomplished with the few “just fishermen” who responded to His call.
Neither your level of education nor how dirty your hands get while working are God’s measure of a person. He is looking for people who will hear His call, accept His call, and then follow Him. He will take care of the anointing!
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary [fishermen], they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man whom they had healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.”
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
~ Psalm 127:1
Notice that the builders still build, and the guards still stand watch. It is God’s collaboration with the builders and guards that brings success and security.
God builds and secures our lives in collaboration with our willing and faithful participation. We are not working and securing on our own, we are doing so with God, our General Contractor and our Master of Security.
“How long, Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”
~ Psalm 13
“How long, Lord?” is a question the psalmist posed to the Lord in prayer. The extremely long, dark night of his soul had exhausted and depressed his heart and mind.
Are you in a similar condition? May I encourage you regarding the expression of your own exhaustion and depression?
It is okay to cry out to the Lord, “How Long, Lord?” Go ahead, express yourself to the Lord your God. It is perfectly acceptable (and even welcomed on His part) to fully express your heart’s despair.
Of course, we do so with respect as He is God. And within the context of complete respect, the question can be fully presented with sincere passion and genuine tears.
The psalmist ends his journaled prayer with his strategy for moving forward (v.5-6):
I will Trust in You!
I will Rejoice in You!
I will Sing of You!
From my own experience, I can testify to all of the above being true. This psalm was a God-send for me in a very dark time in my life, and the psalmist’s strategy for moving forward with God is refreshing and powerful!