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)
The difference between “weaned” and “whining” is like the difference between “faithful” and “fretting” . . . which is as far apart as the east is from the west! If we were to take an inventory of our lives, we would most likely confess that we often behave less like a “weaned child that is content” and far more like a “whining child that is cranky” because things in life did not go as we had planned.
I can speak from personal experience regarding this truth, which rears its ugly head all too often in my own life. The life that Kim and I live today as church planters is most definitely not the life we had planned when we first married. Twenty-four years ago, we were operating our wellness center and moving in the direction that we had carefully mapped out together. Then Jesus showed up . . . and the rest, as they say, is history—or, l should say, HIS-story. Yet along the way, as God was orchestrating His perfect plan for our imperfect lives, I acted much more like a cranky, whining child than the contented, weaned child.
- When God took away our wellness center . . . I whined.
- When God called me to be a PE teacher . . . I grumbled.
- When God called us to downsize our home . . . I complained.
- When God called me to devote my life to Him . . . I argued!
It has taken me years to grow up into the weaned child who is content with God’s construction plan for my life. And I must confess that there are still times when I move from “weaned” to whining when things don’t go the way I’d expected them to. Then my beloved Kim calmly reminds me that God is in control of all things . . . not me. One of the great truths we have learned over the years is to trust God, especially when we cannot trace or track Him. God has proven Himself abundantly faithful, even during those seasons when I have been busily engaged in fretting, fussing, or fuming.
One of the keys that Kim and I have discovered over the years that unlocks the door leading to the weaned contentment is shifting our focus away from ourselves and putting in on the Savior. It is exchanging self-absorption for Savior-astonishment. Self evaporates when the Savior is elevated in our eyes.
Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32), pointing to a bloody cross where He would die for our sins. Keeping this truth in view allows us to be like the weaned child who is content. Why? Because we can be completely confident that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28). Therefore, while we will frequently be confronted with “circumstances beyond our control,” we can be content; we rest in the knowledge that every one of those circumstances is entirely under the sovereign direction of our loving, heavenly Father.
This is the attitude of the weaned child with its mother. It is your experience with your Master today? I pray that will be so. May our lives echo the lovely words of Horatio Spafford’s great hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul” . . .
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!