In the Psalm, the Psalmist compares God to a mother, and he compares himself to a weaned child at peace on its mother’s lap. This is a striking image, and worth reflecting on.
How can a child who is being weaned and is also on his mother’s lap understand the suffering of the weaning? What he wants is right there; there is nothing bad about his having it—it costs his mother nothing to satisfy him; the pain of doing without it is sharp and urgent. And so for a while the child will be overwhelmed by the misery of his situation.
And that is how he can be both weaned and also resting peacefully by her side.
If a truly good God rules the world, then the world has a good mother, and life is under the mothering guidance of God. Even the most loathsome evils and the most horrendous sufferings are in the hand of a God who is truly good.
Nothing in this thought makes evil less evil. Suffering remains painful; violence and greed are still execrable. We still have an obligation to lessen the misery of others and our own troubles retain their power to torment us. But it makes a great difference to suppose that the sufferers of evil, maybe ourselves included, are in the arms of a mothering God. Tasting the goodness of God makes seeing the world's evils and our own compatible with joy in the Lord.