The psalmist talks of our soul being like a weaned child within us. “My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me” (Psalms 131:1-2). I thought of this passage as I was preparing for a devotion the I am giving this Saturday. I want to get a short testimony of how I finally have begun to understand what it is to have my soul be more like a weaned child. A weaned child is, of course, a content and satisfied child, looking into the eyes of a mother, while resting in her arms. I am learning to come to rest in the presence of the Father.
We men certainly have a more difficult time visualizing the reality of our soul being like a weaned child. But there is much to learn from this metaphor of the soul. I want to quote a 17th century Lutheran mystic named Gerhard Tersteegen in this regard. “The mind of God and the light of God do not come in from outside. They do not borrow their certainty and strength from our minds or our senses. They make themselves know in the heart’s core and have both energy and certainty in themselves, although these become darkened and disappear when the soul begins to search after clear certainty in her depths. So do not go out so much into reflections. Do not seek merely by reasoned, external methods to find sure foundations, but close your eyes like a child and confide yourself to the hidden being who is so near to you inwardly”
I realize this is a rather long quote. I share this quote because it has a history with me. As I share my testimony, I will share about a rather dark time in my life over 10 years ago. I first read this quote from Tersteegen in this darkness. At that time it brought me comfort. Back then I was only beginning to grasp what Tersteegan was attempting to share. I started to visualize myself as a child, who could rest in the Father’s love. I know that I was spending to much time simply going around and around in my mind, trying to come to peace withmy circumstances and myself. I held unto the truththat the mind of God and the light of God were already within me in my “heart’s core.” I was learning to simply trust that God would take care of my circumstances, without my having to worry and be filled with doubt.
Men, I can not stress how important it is for us to practice focusing our inner eye on the love of our heavenly Father. Picture Jesus with you, bringing you into the presence of your heavenly Father. This is the work of the Spirit united with your spirit. You can learn to rest in his care and love for you. As men we are naturally “wired” to climb up into our “control tower” and try to navigate our journey. There will be times when this is impossible. It will cause you to get on “worry and fear” wagon. By simple trust, stop the wagon and practice the posture of a child looking trustingly upon your heavenly Father.
Take to heart these encouraging words from The Message. “Here’s want I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God and you will being to sense his grace” (Matt. 6:6