On a sun-warmed Sunday afternoon, our girl and I stand in line behind ten people at a local gelato shop. It smells like hints of espresso, vanilla, and other delectable scents.
We ask for a sample of a new flavor: Passionfruit-strawberry-lemon sorbet. It has a refreshing tang so we order it along with mint chocolate chip gelato.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr user Dawn Huczek
There is anticipation as we wait for the teenager, behind the counter, to scoop the sorbet and gelato. I pay, and finally we stroll outside, sit, and eye peachy-yellow sorbet and pistachio-green gelato with brown flecks.
Did you know we eat with our eyes before we taste it?
I enjoy cold, tangy, minty and chocolate chip flavors melting in my mouth.
As the cold slightly tart sorbet touches my tongue, then slides down my throat, I give thanks. What a gift to be able to taste so many different flavors.
It made me think of what I read this morning at my kitchen table:
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! - Psalm 34:8 NASB
I was thinking of how I can't taste the goodness of the sorbet unless I open my mouth, and receive it. And before I do, I see it.
Likewise, I taste and see that the LORD is good, when I open my heart, mind, spirit, and soul to Him.
I see Him with the eyes of faith. And by grace, I receive Him.
Tasting the goodness of God is not merely a mental exercise.
Thinking about sorbet, without actually placing it in my tongue, will not result in tasting it.
I experience the Lord's goodness when I believe He died and rose again, so I could have a relationship with Him. I experience His love, which is not based on my goodness (Romans 5:8).
Every time I willingly open myself to more of the Lord in my life, I have an opportunity to taste/experience His goodness.
And I say "Yes" to tasting His undeserved forgiveness. His forgiveness rooted in His goodness and undeserved favor, and not on my goodness. Thankfully.
The Lord's goodness is not based on my external circumstances, which change from day to day.
His goodness is His character. Just like my sorbet is sorbet.
God is good, and He cannot be other than good, even if I deem what He allows in my life as not good.
Psalm 34:8 tells me one way I can experience the Lord's goodness is by taking refuge in Him.
When we are stressed, do we find refuge in food, entertainment, or talking to a friend? None of those things are necessarily bad, but if they keep us from going to God, then they are not good.
From past experience, I am learning God is the only true refuge. He is the only one who is never too busy for me.
He is the only One who is not burdened or overwhelmed by anything, so whatever I share with Him, He can handle.
And when I share honestly with Him what is troubling me, I taste the goodness of His presence. I open myself to receive Him, goodness personified.
He is the warm blanket of love around me when I feel the cold of rejection.
I experience the goodness of His peace in exchange for my worries.
He is the sweet in the midst of my bittersweet.
When I focus on His promises to never ever leave me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5), I taste the goodness of His faithful presence.
He is my firm anchor keeping my boat afloat in the raging storm.
My past favorable experiences with the gelato shop have made me a repeat customer. Likewise, the more I experience the Lord's goodness, the more I want to make Him my refuge.
He is the healing balm to my wounded soul.
To be honest, sometimes I don't immediately sense His presence or comfort.
But He has been faithful to me for several decades so I can trust enough to keep clinging to Him. I can trust I will eventually taste and see His goodness.
So I give thanks for what He will do in His good time because He is good. He promised me an eternity to reveal His goodness.
And I am grateful for the glimpses and little tastes He has already given me.
Have you taken the risk of tasting and seeing the Lord is good by taking refuge in Him?
How have you tasted and seen the Lord's goodness in your life?
Thank you for being here. I don't take your presence or your words for granted.
A God-sighting here: Just read this excellent post on Psalm 34:8, The Socially Acceptable Sin, via a link on Ann's blog.
Linking with wise Ann
And sweet and gifted friend Laura Boggess,
Linking with encouraging and talented friend Jennifer Dukes Lee,
and the amazing Jen