God Knows Best
The process of weaning a child from his or her mother can be painful, but it’s necessary for healthy development and maturity. In Western culture today, weaning occurs at a young age, before the personality really starts to show. When this psalm was written, the transition away from a mother’s milk would happen much later, around the age of three.
Weaning could therefore be a confusing struggle for a child as he or she learned to go without something they had previously enjoyed. But once weaned, a child would be “calmed and quieted”; they would now understand that provision would still be made, and they would now be able to enjoy time with their mother for its own sake rather than as a means to an end. Not only that, but a weaned child would have learned that their mother knew best, even when a comfort was being withdrawn and the decision looked perplexing from their three-year-old vantage point.
As with a weaned child, it’s important for us as spiritual children to recognize that we don’t always know what’s best for ourselves. We can trust that our Father in heaven knows best. Far too often, though, our proud hearts cause us to question God’s mysterious ways. We demand to know why we are experiencing pain or trouble or loss, but without recognizing that our questions can express arrogance.
Questions are inevitable; they’re part and parcel of the journey. But true contentment is found in learning how to harness our questions. Contentment says, “Even when I can’t understand, still I can trust.” We must be careful that in our pride we don’t demand that the Potter explains why He made the pot the way He did (Isaiah 45:9). The precise will and ways of God are a mystery, but they are always good, for He is our Father.
With the Lord’s help, we can train ourselves to focus on His providence and remind ourselves that our circumstances are temporary, that our Father knows what He is doing in them, and that they cannot rob us of the joy and glory that are ultimately ours in Christ. In this our souls can be still.
In the Christian life, contentment is often gained through an experience of confusion and discomfort, as we learn to say, “My Father is in charge here and is working for my good as His child. I do not need to understand, for I can trust Him. I have Him, and He is enough for me. My soul is calm, even in this storm.” What a wonderful truth to be able to say today!
Taste and See That the Lord Is Good
Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
1I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
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