My Bible this weekend has been opened to Psalms 127-132 page, and 131 caught my eye, standing out by being shorter than its surrounders:
Lord, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too difficult for me.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself
like a little weaned child with its mother;
I am like a little child.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forever. (Psalm 131:1-3 HCSB)
This is comforting. But other translations seem to bring a closer laser bead on what exactly the Psalmist is turning his eyes from:
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty:
neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. (KJV)
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. (ESV)
It seems as if the Psalmist is refusing to let his eyes get above his pay grade. As if there are matters beyond his rightful contemplation, things he just can’t grasp – and as if there is a holiness in refusing to try.
Only those who trust God, who trust his machinations behind the “curtain” of reality as it were, who trust him to keep turning the gears that we don’t even know exist, can fully quit trying to understand it all, can quit himself and live for today.
We’ve all got gears we’re trying to understand. Whether God will beat the cancer at the last minute. When the verdict will arrive. How on earth that crushing bill is ever going to get paid. When the spouse or child will finally come. Or come back.
I remember hearing a speaker several years ago who shared the story of asking God all these questions, and finally he felt God speak, “Enough. Stop looking over my shoulder and focus on being the man I want you to be.”
Maybe that’s all we need. To take our eyes off God’s business and bring it back down to our own.