Read: Psalm 131

O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. (v. 3)

This little psalm offers a most beautiful metaphor of faith. The image is of a child of two or three, nestled quietly in its mother’s lap. Picture yourself as that child, and the mother’s lap as the loving embrace of God. What are you doing there? Or rather, what aren’t you doing there? The child isn’t thinking about anything. “I do not exercise myself in great matters: which are too high for me” (v. 1, The Book of Common Prayer). At some point we turn away from the restless thoughts that keep us awake at night, we give up trying to solve life’s deep mysteries, we let go of the troubling questions that undermine faith, and we leave it all with the Lord.

The child isn’t saying anything. The psalmist doesn’t say his soul is quiet; he says it has been quieted (v. 2). The child has been crying—toddlers get a lot of “owies”—but now it has calmed down. A mother’s comfort has quieted its fretfulness. Faith doesn’t mean we’ll never be hurt, but it does mean we have the wonderful comfort of belonging to the Lord.

Finally, the child isn’t asking for anything. It’s been weaned. It’s not there just to be fed. The child has learned to see its mother as more than an automatic responder to its every cry. Their relationship is no longer simply instinctive dependence; it is growing toward real love. —David Bast

As you pray, spend some time being quiet before the Lord, picturing yourself being held in his arms.