One of the chapters in David Powlison’s brilliant Seeing With New Eyes is an exposition of Psalm 131:
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.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.
Powlison describes Psalm 131 as a “show and tell for how to become peaceful inside.” He wisely notes that this man isn’t “noisy” inside, his inner soul is quiet. This composure isn’t automatic, it is learned, and learned in the context of relationship, a relationship with God.
How do we learn quietness of soul, while the storm of living in a crazy world is raging? Let me suggest some avenues:
- Carve out time to meditate on Scripture. Yes, there’s no time, I know, but you can’t accomplish anything without taking time to do it, including quietness of soul. Psalm 131 and Psalm 23 are excellent starting points.
- Read stuff that will open up the truth of Scripture and apply it to your life—Powlison’s book is great, as is The Cross-Centered Life and others.
- Pray, here again The Papa Prayer by Larry Crabb is excellent.
- Open yourself up to a person of wisdom, who walks with God and is gifted in perceiving what God is up to in a person’s life. That could be as simple as a friend, a pastor, or a “professional” counselor.
- Spend time in worship. I am reminded of John Eldredge’s quote that worship is one of the most powerful tools to heal the soul. And that’s where muisc enters the picture, for God in His grace has provided us music that can help us in our journey to bring peace to our souls.
What kind of music, do you ask? Ah, that’s where the “Monday Media Meltdown” part comes in. I have been perusing my own collection, looking for music that was centered on the truths of Scripture, gentle in tone, and worshipful. Here’s the list I’ve come up with:
Be Still My Soul by Katrina von Schlegel
Peace Be Still by Twila Paris
Be Still & Know by Steven Curtis Chapman
It is Well With My Soul by Horatio Spafford
Psalm 131 (Come to the Quiet) by John Michael Talbot
Healer of My Soul by John Michael Talbot
In Stillness & Simplicity by Michael Card
p.s. I don’t make any money from Itunes, the listing is purely for your convenience. If you have another favorite track that has ministered to you, I would love to know.