Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
My parents go all out when watching their beloved Pittsburgh Steelers play on Sunday (please excuse their horrible taste in football teams). They deliver quite the spread on game day. No matter how hard I try, I end up getting heartburn from eating too many appetizers. Even though they are bite-size, it is indeed possible to eat your weight in Pigs in a Blanket. As delicious as those meaty snacks were, another food always seems to make its way on my plate.
They are in the guacamole dip beside my chips. They adorn the top of my mini tacos. This fruit (yes…it’s a fruit) also makes an appearance on my side salad. Hey, I had to make it look like I was eating healthy for the wife.
Me scarfing down avocados would’ve been unheard of a few years ago. The sight of them made me sick. The mushy texture weirded me out. And, I won’t even touch upon how its color looks like something that comes out of your nose when you have a cold. But, there I was on a Sunday inhaling avocados in an alarmingly fast rate.
What marked this drastic change? It’s simple. I gave them a taste and my eyes (or my belly) were open to their deliciousness. For far too long, I held this preconceived, yet ill-informed, notion that prevented me from giving them a chance. I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t like them. All it took was a taste for my world to change.
You might be wondering what my encounter with avocados has to do with faith, God and spirituality. The more I think about avocados, the more I am reminded of my initial hesitations towards Christianity. The Bible seemed like a dusty old book written thousands of years ago that was utterly irrelevant to what I was going through in the “real” world. In my mind, God was the ultimate killjoy who, if I followed Him, would turn me into a spiritual robot that looked like a carbon copy of all the other rule followers.
I was okay with Jesus because, from what I had heard, He talked a lot about love and forgiveness, and who wouldn’t like that sales pitch? But, Jesus was just a noble teacher, or so I thought. I picked up other biases along the way that made me reluctant to explore faith any further.
Along came a few people that lived differently who later became friends. They had a way about them that made me want whatever they had. When I asked, they invited me to check it out for myself. There was no pushiness or arm pulling. It was just a simple invitation to open up the Bible and see what it had to say.
So, I did, and as a result, my whole world turned upside down. As I read through the Gospels, I encountered a compassionate God full of grace and mercy. I read verses that somehow, someway, spoke to the deepest parts of me and gave me hope in regards to some of my most profound struggles. I soon realized that God was crafting a beautiful story and I had a part to play in it. Their invitation transformed me.
The same invitation is open to everyone. In Psalm 34, the author urges us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” This is an offer to discover and explore. It welcomes our curiosity and allows us to bring our doubts and hesitations along with us. But, humility must be displayed. To truly accept this invitation to taste and see we have to be open to the idea that the picture we hold about life, faith, and even God himself, might be wrong. A willingness to discover is the only way that God’s truth can change our hearts.
Please understand that this invite isn’t just a one-time offer. It’s a daily reminder that there are areas of our heart and circumstances that we face that need to experience this type of encounter. What we bring to the table matters a great deal in genuinely tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. So, today as we go about our day, we should consider what is on our menu. Where are we going to savor God’s faithfulness, wisdom, and insight?
Where are you reluctant to value discovery and “taste and see” that the Lord is good? What is causing this push back and hesitation?
God, often I am reluctant to come to the table. I let my fears, my doubts, my insecurities, and my ill-formed beliefs get in the way of a genuine encounter with You. Today, may I take a bite, regardless of how small, and taste that You are indeed good. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.