“There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us,
“Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.”
In times of trouble or despair we often find ourselves feeling that, because something has gone wrong, everything has gone wrong. As the Psalmist notes, we say, “Who will show us any good?” as if to assert that in times of sorrow or want there isn’t anything good in life or in nature or in all of humankind. In answer to that lament, the Psalmist calls for the light of God’s countenance to smile upon His children, to roll back the darkness and lift the shadows from the scene.
There is so much that is good all around us, so much to make us glad even beyond the traditional joy of the harvest season, when the bounties of the field and the vineyard remind us now as well as anciently just how good God is to us.
Those who say there is no love in the world have never seen a mother gaze into the eyes of her newborn child. Those who say there is no beauty in the world have never seen New England in the fall or old England in the spring or the Swiss lakes and landscapes any time of the year. Those who say there is no harmony in the world have never heard Brahms or Beethoven, Puccini or Vivaldi. Who hasn’t had a sudden intake of breath when first seeing the art of Michelangelo or Titian, Rembrandt or Matisse, Constable or Monet? And what of all the widespread blessings of science, medicine, communication, and transportation? Wherever we look, there are wonders of things in heaven and on earth.
“Who will shew us any good?” A child will, a neighbor will, a friend will, and so will our Father in Heaven. “Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.”