O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
My husband ascribes to the tried-and-true philosophy of food choices. Name an eating establishment and he’ll tell you what he orders. Red Robin? Bonsai burger! Texas Roadhouse? Fall-off-the-bone ribs! U-Swirl? Cake batter yogurt with Reese’s peanut butter cups!
I include the exclamation points because he anticipates his meals—every last, predictable time—with the gusto of an explorer setting out on an exotic expedition.
I love going out with my guy. Not only because he’s an engaging conversationalist who cares for my heart and makes me laugh. It goes deeper than that: I know my food is safe with him. Whereas he orders large servings on the off-chance I might steal a bite (or two, I mean three), I get to eat every single morsel of what’s on my plate. He won’t touch it.
A food adventure
Last week I visited one of my favorite downtown restaurants. The enthusiastic server’s eyes sparkled as she described the pasta special: Squid ink-injected linguine topped with fresh arugula and local tomatoes, accompanied by a feta-oregano pesto swimming in virgin olive oil and a side of pan-roasted scallops.
My eyes sparkled too. Ooooooohhhhh! Squid ink! Now there’s something new!
There was a time arugula would have gagged me, scallops would have grossed me out, and pungent oil would have made me wheeze. (Let’s not even talk about my earliest encounters with goat cheese, beets, and coffee.) But over time, I’ve acquired a taste for all of these things. (Still have a ways to go with liver though.)
Gulping and gasping
God’s Word tells us to taste and see that He is good. Are these tastes limited to the tried-and-true, easily-swallowed blessings? What about the piles on our plate that make us wrinkle our nose or pucker our cheeks? What about the samplings we’d rather spit out?
We happily gulp down the routine morsels of God’s goodness generously sprinkled into our lives (a stunning sunrise, a sweet hug, a Scripture that jumps off the page). We exclaim with delight over the exceptionally tasty dishes He doles out deliberately (an unexpected job opportunity, a prodigal returning home, a disease cured).
But what about the food that makes us gasp and sputter? What about an unexpected job loss, or a prodigal long-missing, or a disease that’s accelerating? How do we taste the goodness of the Lord in these?
I’m only asking…
…I don’t have a ready answer. Even though I know many of the helpful Scriptural principles (you probably know them too), my experience doesn’t qualify me as an expert.
As my husband often quotes, “Christianity is simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”
I had a conversation with my sister-in-law yesterday about the possible reasons God allowed my mom to have a stroke at the age of 71 and then continue to live in tragic debilitation in these five years since. We came up with several ideas: Perhaps it’s because the grief of losing Mom entirely would have been too much for my dad to bear. Maybe it’s because of the testimony of true love my dad shows during the seven hours he spends every single day at her care facility. It might be so that our family can grow in trust and grace and fellowship and love.
As we mused together, it was as if we were sampling God’s goodness. It’s not that the answers made this food go down easily; swallowing continues to bring lumps to our throats and tears to our eyes. Yet, in some inexplicable way, sharing this meal together brought us one small step closer to developing a taste for God’s goodness in all its forms.
May we share a meal together?
There are a few items on my plate right now that I’d rather not taste. (Though writing that sentence convicts me of being a monumental whiner, because there are infinitely more morsels on my plate whose delectability I don’t deserve.)
But I hope I’m acquiring a taste for the goodness of the Lord in all these things, both the sweet and the bitter.
My niece Audrey, who is the Music Director for her Catholic church, invited me to listen to a song that has meant a lot to her lately. Since I respect my niece’s love for Jesus as well as her taste in music, I added the song to my playlist. (In fact, I added the whole, beautiful CD.) Listening to this song is one way God is helping me lately to pick up my fork and taste that He is good. Here’s a sampling:
I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy
Maybe you’d like to sample the rest of this song? Here’s the link:
So glad to be tasting with you,