One of the five Psalms for today (see reading plan) is Psalm 34. David wrote this psalm after a battle with Abimilech. David knew his fair share of pain and suffering. Some of it was unjustly done to him, some was the result of his own foolish choices. Either way, suffering is no fun.
There are two things that struck me about the Psalm:
First, David invites us to taste the Lord. I love that image because it goes so much deeper than simply understanding with the mind, but it is ingesting with all the senses. Jesus invited us to eat his flesh and drink his blood. We are to make God a part of our inner being, to be fused with our DNA…and it is good.
Second, good does not equal easy. Notice that David doesn’t say that God exempts the righteous from suffering. He says that God provides rescue from suffering for the righteous, but those who do evil will perish. God is our refuge.
Think about that. The only difference between the “righteous” and the “evil doer” is that one has a place in which to find refuge in the midst of difficult times. The other is simply standing in the storm with no end or comfort in sight. One has hope. The other doesn’t.
Sometimes the goodness of the Lord tastes the sweetest when the storms of life are the most bitter.