Saturday, December 12, 2009

Psalm 131 – A Song for Patience of Hope

“Hope, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.

Hope now, hope always.”

—Psalm 131:3 (Msg).

Mountain climbing is known to be an extremely risky exercise, requiring much considered planning and good fortune, at least as far as the tall peaks are concerned. The natural elements and hazards are pitted to the human spirit, a line-ball game in anyone’s reckoning. And yet, there’s a very real spiritual mountain we also climb; we’re on that journey, now, as we breathe. Many do not realise this.

This journey is replete with its own very real hazards as it concerns the human spirit, directly. We’re all dragged into this messy situation to the extent of our lives; we’re emotional and spiritual beings after all—dependent to a vast degree on the regulation of the mental processes i.e. what we think.

Thought itself is a journey.

Psalm 131 is a pilgrim song. It’s a song of—regarding, even recounting—the journey. Pilgrim songs have a purpose about them. They’re not some wishy washy static statement of only vague intrigue. They’re meaningful because they describe a journey we’re all on.

The psalmist describes their quiet confidence in the fact that, for the majority of time and situations, they have ‘cultivated a quiet heart’ (v. 2a, Msg). Content in the knowledge of God and safely dependent on the nature of life, the psalmist knows and lives a sound theology. They’ve worked at it.

From such a basis they move and consider everything from firm, though not limiting, boundaries. The boundaries are accepted to the further peace of this person. They have patience of hope. They perhaps do not yet see, for what we hope for we cannot generally see (Romans 8:24-25), but their underpinning faith tells them to wait—expectantly, though not ever to fret.

Many indeed truly wonder what it is like to be able to wait in the patience of hope like this. It starts with spiritual contentment; a long journey, intriguingly and paradoxically, almost without destination itself.

Surely knowing our place and accepting same has a lot to say for requisite value. Surely the quiet spirit is now set to simply enjoy a place of humble contentment as to exactly where—in this moment—it is.

It is. We are. There, we’re happy—in whatever circumstance.

© 2009 S. J. Wickham.

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