About thirty people gathered for the weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. One of the individuals, Hank, nervously half-listened to the conversation of a small group of guys. Tonight his mind was elsewhere, for he would be sharing up front with that group later on.
When the meeting began, the group’s leader introduced Hank stating that he would be receiving his thirty-year medallion. As Hank moved forward to receive his award, the crowd erupted with clapping and hollering of congratulations. Hank received his thirty-year medallion, then turned to the group, cleared his throat, and began to speak. “Thanks. My name is Hank, and I’m an alcoholic.”
The group answered back, “Hi Hank.”
Then Hank began his story of when he took his first drink until he started coming to these meetings. He thanked his sponsor for helping him see that he was doing a really lousy job running his own life and needed to let go and turn his life over to God. He asked Jesus Christ into his life and has been keeping on track thirty years. Though it wasn’t always easy, each day he surrendered himself to God. Hank learned along the way to trust the Lord and call on him for wisdom and courage and strength as he continued to work the steps.
Then he ended with these words: “Some of you sitting here tonight are new at this AA thing. Maybe you’ve been sober for only a couple days. I’m glad you’re here. I just want to tell you, as one drunk to another, trust God with this, work those steps and trust God. You’ll be up here getting your thirty-year medallion someday. I thank my sponsor and my family, and my group, but most important, my God.”
I believe the song writer of Psalm 131 would say “Amen!” to Hank’s talk. Listen to this songwriter’s humble words.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not haughty. I do not occupy myself with great matters or things that are too wonderful for me; but I have calmed and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore.
A life story is behind this song. Somewhere along the way, this individual had learned to trust God with his life. Perhaps he had learned along the way Ð like Hank Ð that, even though he thought he had life by the tail and he thought he was the master of his own destiny, nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps he even learned the hard way, as he crashed and burned, then tasted failure, humiliation, and perhaps some embarrassment and pain along the way in life. Perhaps he learned early on as a boy about the destructiveness of being haughty, which means arrogant, prideful. After all, in the Hebrew proverbs he’d been taught as a child that a haughty heart goes before destruction, but humility goes before honor.
Our songwriter points out that he’s chosen the alternative to running his own life and thinking he is God.
I’ve calmed and quieted my soul.
The picture he paints for us is a weaned child nestled contentedly at his mother’s breast, serene and satisfied in those gentle, strong, reliable arms. God’s arms.
I’m reminded of the story of a friend who was planning a vacation to Europe for his family of six. He spent many hours studying maps and other travel information. A few days before they were due to begin their journey, his youngest child came into the room where her father was working on the trip’s details. The little girl climbed up in her father’s lap and said, “I’m so glad all I have to do is go along.” That’s the mark of a trusting child, isn’t it? It is the willingness to feel secure in another’s hands.
Our songwriter says, “And so my soul is like a weaned child within me, resting in its mother’s arms.” He seems to have learned the secret of contentment Ð kingdom living Ð that Jesus said is ours when we trust God like a child. He learned that contentment came with humbly trusting God with each moment of life.
This song is a declaration of dependence. It is a calming and soothing song that goes on to appeal to us. God’s people, trust God with your life. Hope in the Lord forevermore. Place each day in his hands.
A young pilot once succeeded in convincing his grandmother to take her first airplane ride with him in his small private plane. The takeoff went smoothly, and they were soon cruising over the town where she lived and looking down at the farm where she had been born. The grandson noticed, though, that his passenger was pale and her knuckles were white as she clung to the arms of her seat for her dear life. When he landed the plane, the rest of the family waiting on the ground couldn’t wait to get his grandma’s reaction to the experience. They came running toward the plane as she was getting out. “Grandma, how did you like the ride?” they asked. “It was fine,” she said, “but let me tell you a secret; I never really let all my weight down.”
The flight would have been so much more enjoyable if she had only relaxed, let her weight down, and trusted. That is what our songwriter is encouraging us to do this day. Let your weight down and trust in the Lord. After all, God has proven himself to be faithful, true, and trustworthy. All you have to do is to look at the cross. He showed us that he is really for us in the giving of his only Son to die for our sinfulness so that we could become his sons and daughters. People of God, trust him!