A Song of Ascents. Of David.
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 child quieted at its mother’s breast;
like a child that is quieted is my soul.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and for evermore.
Perhaps more than any other Psalm in scripture (and yes, that includes Psalm 23) this has been my help in times of very grave trouble. Although we are given much truth in God’s Word that we can truly apprehend and lay hold of, it doesn’t change the fact that, ultimately, we only ever understand the very tiniest part of what God is doing in our lives at any one time. A man discovers whether he trusts his wife not when he can see what she is doing, but precisely when he can’t see her and has no idea what she is up to. And so it is with the Lord! Through more trials than I could ever recount, and over more years than I care to remember, the Lord has left me significantly and, sometimes, completely, in the dark, so I could learn to actually trust Him, as opposed to merely being able to quote the verses that tell me that I should.
And what this wonderful song from the pages of scripture has confirmed to me again and again is that not only do I not need to understand everything all the time, I can actually snuggle up in peaceful rest in the Lord’s arms and just leave it all to Him. It’s not very manly, I know – but then King David wasn’t exactly a wimp, and he wrote it – but I don’t want to have to just be facing up to this, that and the other all the time, I want to be able to rest in Jesus’ arms when I need to and just know how loved, and therefore safe, I am. But more than that, I want to be that kind of help and sense of safety to others too so they can feel they can snuggle up nice and safe and sound in me until they find out how to do so with the Lord. Paul the apostle wrote, “But we were gentle among you, like a nurse taking care of her children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:7), and the amazing thing is that in the Greek the language used is that of a mother breast-feeding her infant child. Man, that’s a tender-hearted thing for a guy to say, but Paul said it nevertheless, and I want to be able to say it as well.
So hey, not only is it OK when we need to just snuggle up in the Lord’s arms to find rest, it’s actually important that we become the kind of people whom others can ‘lean on’ for comfort and support in their times of trial. Paul also wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
And yes, the cat is still here…and yes, it’s very definitely a darn one!