Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"The secret things belong to the LORD our God..." (Deuteronomy 29:28)

Today, I read Psalm 131, one of my favorite poems. In the past, I viewed the text as an admonition to intellectual quietude--encouragement to understand that paradox is one of the hallmarks of God's character and that mystery marks out the proud limits of my mind. Like Job, I am unable to understand all that God is doing in his universe. "Insane, who hopes our reason may that space explore," said Dante.

Today I saw another side of David's quietism: I am unable to comprehend all that God is doing in me, and equally insane to try to understand it.   

David draws a comparison between a weaned child that no longer frets for what it once demanded, and a soul that has learned the same lesson. It is a call to learn humility, patient endurance and contentment in all my circumstances, whatever they are, though I do not understand God's reasons. Divine logic is beyond the grasp of my mind.

I ask, "Why this niggling affliction? Why this 'drop of anguish that scalds me now?'" The Father answers, "Hush, child. You wouldn't understand if I explained it to you. Just trust me!"

So, I turn from contemplating David's example to ask myself: "Can I, in my circumstances, 'hope in the LORD' (VS. 3). [1] Can I wait in faith and patience without fretting and without questioning God's wisdom? Can I trust him while he works in me his good, acceptable and perfect will?"

Can you?


[1] The Hebrew word for "hope" in this text (vs. 3), is a verb that stresses the concept of patient endurance rather than expectation.

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