This morning as I sat in my minivan after another night of comforting sad children over the death of our beloved cat, I felt the weight of sorrow in my heart. So much sorrow! Not just for pets that die, but for all the other sorrow in my own community and across the whole world. I realize that losing a pet is a small thing compared to other sorrows that potentially await us all. What if things actually don’t get better? What if they get worse?
A wise pastor told my husband that life gets harder, but joy gets greater.
I’m having a hard time with it. I can’t muster up the hope today. In fact, I feel Creeping Cynicism. I don’t want to pray. I don’t want to read my Bible.
But a phrase keeps repeating in my mind as I sit in my minivan. It’s the question in Psalm 4: “Who can show us any good?” When life weighed the psalmist down, he asked the question I feel myself asking on my worst days. What’s the point? Who can show me any good today?
I remember the answer from my own childhood when I memorized Psalm 4. The answer is this:
Lift the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
For you alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
I ask God to put the kind of gladness in my heart that doesn’t depend upon what happens to me. I thank God that He gives peace and helps me dwell in a kind of safety I cannot comprehend. He does it. He puts it in there. Who can show us any good? Even in the midst of the distressing question, God puts gladness, peace, and safety there.