Learning to Trust
by: Jessica Bratt
With the image of a weaned child, the psalmist conveys humble contentment in God’s presence. In comparison to the frantic, urgent cries of a nursing child, a weaned child gradually learns to enjoy a parent’s embrace in a new way. It is the difference between the hungry wails of a newborn, sounding desperate as though the next meal might never come, and the toddler who learns the joys of a contented cuddle and discovers delights beyond simply having her immediate needs met. A child being weaned may be frustrated that her instinctive desires for gratification are not being met. Gradually, though, she learns to let go of former ways and to trust that sustenance will come in new ways.
We too do not always understand why God seems to withhold the familiar and prod us forward to new horizons. Does the psalmist feel reluctant or relieved when he surrenders the need to understand those things that are “too great and marvelous” and instead places his trust in God’s provision? In either case, it is a picture of bonding, a glimpse of a relationship that is maturing. To calm ourselves in God’s presence in this way is to trust that our hungers will be met, to learn the soul’s equivalent of appreciating more than just where the next meal will come from. It is to experience God as the one in whose secure presence we will surely find rest. As Augustine said, “our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”