“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” (Psalm 131:1).
The Songs of Ascents are a series of fifteen psalms, believed to have been sung by the Israelites when they ascended to Jerusalem for feasts. They are by a variety of authors, including David and Solomon. Some of them are tinged with grief, while others do nothing but rejoice in God. Near the end is one short psalm, written by David. In it, he takes a moment to pause from the whirlwind of emotions surrounding the other songs and simply reflects on God’s presence.
“My heart is not lifted up,” he states in the opening verse. He relates how he does not fill his mind with matters that are above his understanding. Instead, he compares his soul to a young child who is content to rest in his mother’s presence: “like a weaned child is my soul within me” (v. 2). Many times in the Psalms, David writes about awesome things, seeking to understand deep theological questions. But in this, he rests from these often troubling considerations. He loves God, and this psalm expresses the unparalleled peace he experiences when he takes the time to just sit with his Maker.
We too like to focus our thoughts on the great and wonderful things of God. We want to puzzle out everything about Him, to be able to explain Who He is and what He does. There’s nothing wrong with seeking to know God better. In fact, the more we learn about Him, the better we can worship Him. But there are times when He calls us to lay aside our questions and thirst for understanding and simply sit in His presence. His peace is there, waiting for us. Sometimes, the best way we can show our love for Him is by just resting in Him.