Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Taste and See

I have lost my touch in the kitchen. I used to be a pretty good cook, and very good at baking. But somewhere in these last months I have botched up so many meals and served too many dried out tasteless things that I have to wonder what has happened. It's probably because my mind is on so many "closing" details: my son finishing his senior year, planning a graduation party for him, contemplating necessary moves we have to make in different areas of our lives. I am not focused on turning out moist delectable banana breads and muffins. Instead I am intent on making progress, having breakthroughs in areas of my life where I have not yet "gained the victory".

So if you were to come for tea and a snack at my house, I'd be offering you a muffin that is dry, tasteless, and has a chunk of mushy fruit in the middle. I would apologize that it tastes so bland- but I'd be smiling as I say it. It is what it is. You see, I'm not that broken up over my bad cooking and baking skills. I have made progress in other areas of my life, and that matters more to me than being a good cook. At least right now that's the way I feel.

There is something wonderful, though, about biting into something that looks delectable and tasting it, and finding out that it is, indeed, delicious. Anticipating the taste of a fudge covered cookie, biting into it, and letting the buttery shortcake texture of the cookie mix with the fudge flavor in your mouth, is a treat to the senses. The expectation that something will taste good and then the experience of it being better than you thought is one of those "beautiful" experiences in this life.

And that's what I've been reflecting on lately. Especially last night, when hearing over and over that chorus based on the verse- "Taste and see that the Lord is good"(Psalm 34:8). Taste...and then see that the Lord is good. Take a step, take an action of experiencing God's grace, and find out that He is better than you realized, that He is more merciful and kind and loving than you even knew.

I kept thinking about this- that even though we walk by faith, and not by sight, that there are times when God wants us to not only know a deeper experience of Him, but that He invites us to this experience. He sends out an invitation to know more of His mercy, to see Him more clearly, and He is confident that you will not be disappointed.

Now if I invited you to an afternoon snack at my house, I might be hopeful that you'll enjoy it, and there are some days that I might even be close to confident that what I baked tastes good. But it's a bit of a gamble for you to come and taste what I offer.

God, on the other hand, is never half-confident that what He offers you will amaze you. God has no doubts that when you respond to His invitation to experience His goodness that you will be amazed at how good He is, how much more He has planned for you. He is certain that you can experientially know more of His goodness. That's why the psalmist says, we "go from strength to strength" (Psalm 84:7) because there is an increasing revelation of what God is about, how He is FOR us, how He loves us. And this revelation is increasing in our lives.

Every time we take God at His word and reach out to taste His faithfulness and His forgiveness and His mercy, we savor it and say, "Oh, it's so good."

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