Many years ago, when Cheri was about 1 year old, I was coming home from church. I decided to stop by the A&P Store to pick up some Pampers. My wife was not with me, so it was just me and her. I unstrapped her from her car seat and placed her in the top of the grocery cart where kids normally sit. I had not planned to be in the store long.
She started to scream at the top of her lungs for some unknown reason as I searched for the Pampers aisle. You could hear her shrieks all over the entire store. No matter what I did to try to quiet her, she was not having any part of it. You would have thought that I was not her dad or that I was trying to kill her.
That was one of those I-gotta-have-what-I-came-in-here-for moments, so she was just going to have to bawl. I walked around the store for about 10 minutes with this screaming baby. I arrived at the checkout register and there were about three people in front of me. I was hoping somebody would give me a break. Nope! I could read the expressions of the people in line. They were thinking, “Why don’t you shut that brat up?”
After what seemed like an eternity, it was finally my turn to checkout as the hollering got even louder. We then left the store, and when we got back to the car she immediately stopped hollering and was as quiet as a church mouse. I think every parent has had one of those exasperating moments when a child refuses to cooperate. Who knows what they are thinking?
The psalmist David understood parenting when he said, “But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul.” (Psalm 131:2, NIV)
Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. Sometimes life can send all three in different directions. We are disturbed and disquieted within us as we fear the worst in troublesome times.
However, David said, “His soul was like a weaned child” He no longer required a “bottle” to sooth his soul. Instead of fretting after what is too great for him, he quiets his ambition, and his spirit. He is like a child in its mother’s arms after weaning is over that is soothed and lulled by the maternal caress. The image is strikingly simple and true of a subdued quietness of rest and trust.
There is nothing like fasting to quiet our souls before the Lord. We humble our souls through fasting. We grow past the immaturity of being a babe in Christ.
Psalm 35:13 (KJV) states, “But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.”
The best way to “wean” our souls is through fasting. We are no longer fussy or agitated as our spirit man is emboldened, our wills fortified, and our emotions calmed by solely God’s presence and assuring voice.