Taste and See that the Lord Is Good

by Shelly Beach
© 2017

strangelemons-Pixabay

When I was a kid, my dad used to bring home unusual food for our family to try: cherimoyas, dandelion greens, sassafras, fiddleheads, jackfruit, jicama, grasshoppers, various assorted animal meats and organs, smelt, lutefisk, and I’ll end the list there.

Taking that first taste took a bit of courage for me. Often the food looked distasteful and  unpalatable. My dad seemed to think it a mark of moral character to force us to try something new that would expand our palate and our experience. And he also wanted us to understand that judging by what we see can often be misleading.

The Bible tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Life serves up both the bitter and the sweet. We’ve all faced distasteful, horrible experiences. You know, things that make us want to cover our mouths and cry “No!” like toddlers being asked to eat parsnips. Something unwanted stares back at us from the table, when we’d much rather down  our favorite foods.

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When something unwanted is placed before us, God asks us to trust Him, and like children we often clamp our mouths shut.

We don’t want to.

It’s too hard, too terrible, too painful, too frightening.

And the truth is that terrible, hard, painful, and frightening things are often unsavory and hard.

But the greatest truth is that nothing is sweeter than God’s goodness and love for us.

When we trust God in the terrible and the hard, we “taste” His goodness, His faithfulness, His perfect peace, His incomparable presence.

But tasting God’s love and care for us requires several things of us:

  • Trusting God implicitly because of who He is. This requires acting on our will and commitment to God’s Word, not our emotions. Trusting God is also a learning process.
  • Looking at life from God’s perspective. Circumstances are temporal realities with eternal implications. Conversely, God is an eternal being who works for our good in our temporal circumstances. What we see now is superficial. God is at work in the whole of eternity to work out even dire temporary circumstances for our good.

Are you facing the terrible, the hard, the frightening, the disastrous, the overwhelming? Taste God’s goodness. Trust who He is. Look at life from His perspective, and trust Him to be at work for your good.

“I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!”  Psalm 34:1-3 ESV

Why It’s Christmas Every Day

Photo Credit: GodPixPic.com

Photo Credit: GodPixPic.com

A few years ago a cousin of ours sent us a Christmas card with the following message: “Life sucks, but God is good.”

I have to admit, was shocked. What kind of Christmas message was that? As Christians, weren’t we supposed to be spreading “Joy to the world”?

Fast forward a few years to 2014 and let me tell you why I appreciate that card today (although I’ve never really liked that word “sucked.”)

Our world is broken, and saying it out loud doesn’t mean God isn’t good–it’s an admission that we need him more than ever.

This past year, my family and friends have struggled with cancer, chronic illness, loss of loved ones, memories of their murdered children, struggles with addiction, parenting their seldom-seen children’s children, abandonment, betrayal, job loss, and other painful issues. In the next weeks my husband will undergo two several painful and life-altering medical procedures. My best friend has fought through the past six months of her life on oxygen.

We face two unchanging truths every day of our lives: life hurts and the only thing we can count on is God’s goodness and love for us.

There will be no Christmas tree this year at our house. No family gathering. No family dinner. No gifts. But I can choose my attitude and my focus.I can still choose the truth.

  • God is immeasurably, unchangeably good, and his love for me never wavers.
  • I’m blessed to live in a nation where my life is not in immediate peril because I worship the God I love.
  • I live with abundance in comparison with others in the world–no matter what my circumstances may be.
  • I am blessed with loving family and friends.
  • Life hurts, and God chose not only to be with me in my hurt by sending his Son, but to offer him as the solution to the mess we made of things–the mess I make of things.

Life stinks–even at Christmas. For many people more at Christmas than any other time of the year. That’s why I must always remember that Christmas is a sinless baby–a perfect child–slaughtered in my place so I could live free and forgiven.

Glory to God in the highest–how can I not fall to my knees in gratitude every day of my life?