Dear skeptical friend,
I thought of you today when I read these words, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” I love that image because I’ve savored God’s goodness all my life. But while I reflected on God’s goodness, I also remembered you, my friend, who aren’t so sure that God is good. You’re skeptical, and with good reason.
My nephew, Jonas, is skeptical too. Not about God, but about sour cream. When we were on vacation together, he said that he’s not so sure that sour cream would taste good. Jonas is allergic to milk, so he doesn’t know what a lot of foods taste like. He’s confident that he’d like real cheese on a pizza and a bowl of ice cream for dessert if he ever grows out of the milk allergy. But sour cream? He has his doubts.
“How can something be sour and cream at the same time? I can’t imagine what sour cream tastes like. And why would people like that? Those two words don’t make it sound like it would taste good at all.”
He can’t imagine the taste. And the name makes him skeptical.
If Jonas has reason to be skeptical about sour cream tasting good, you have more reason to be skeptical that God is good.
- Maybe your fellowship with the Lord’s people was more divisive than united. You crave community. You’ve heard about “sweet fellowship”, but there was nothing sweet about what you experienced.
- Maybe you’ve had a taste of God’s words, but they were dipped in disdain and served on a platter of hate. You hunger for truth. You’ve heard that his words are suppose to be sweet like honey on the honey comb, but to you they tasted bitter.
- And instead of being encouraged with goodness, you’ve been disheartened with hypocrisy.
- Instead of tasting gracious words that are sweet to the soul and healing to the bones, maybe you’ve tasted spiteful words coated in gossip that curdle the spirit.
- Maybe you have a pain in the gut as if you’ve skipped a couple of meals because you feel like God skipped over your prayers and left them unanswered.
- Or maybe you’ve been served prepackaged answers that taste more like deep fried fast food than something with deep substance to satisfy the soul.
- Perhaps you’ve been served up more than your fair rations of pain and suffering. You crave his goodness but can’t taste it through the pain.
- Maybe the Christianity you’ve tasted is so processed by our culture for convenience and comfort that it hardly has its original flavor.
I don’t blame you for doubting that God really is good considering the bitter aftertaste that lingers in the palette of your soul. No wonder you are skeptical.
Sometimes I feel bad to feast and delight in his goodness, when I know the bad taste you experienced. It’s that same feeling I have when I enjoy a big bowl of ice cream next to Jonas on the couch who still doesn’t know what it even tastes like.
But to be honest, my soul has tasted the goodness of the Lord. It’s not that my life has been a piece of cake since I’ve known God. I’ve had my bitter seasons too. But God has been good. My soul craves his presence, and is satisfied as with the richest of foods. He fills me with his bread of life and quenches my thirst with his living water. Since I was a little girl, the fellowship with his people really has been sweet –not to say there weren’t a few bad apples. The beauty of his creation renews me like a drink of cool water when I’m thirsty. And I savor his truthful words because they really are sweeter to me than honey from the honeycomb.
So this morning when I thought about you as I read that verse, I wanted you to know that I’m sorry. I am sorry that your taste of God has not been good. I’m really sorry that he’s been served to you by people who don’t know his goodness themselves. I’m sorry that your taste of him was dipped in arrogance, wrapped in bitterness, marinated with hypocrisy or infused with indifference. I wish that it were different.
But although that bad taste lingers, I also wanted you to know that I hope you get another taste. Be skeptical–make sure you taste the real thing. But keep tasting. Because God really is good.
One day I hope that Jonas grows out of his allergy and he gives sour cream a chance too, even though the name makes him skeptical. Imagine how tasty his burrito will be when he can spread some sour cream on the tortilla and sprinkle some real cheese on top. If he’s lucky, he can finish with a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream for dessert. Then he’ll also know that the Lord is good.
Hoping that you and Jonas get to taste some good stuff soon.
Thinking of you today, Frances
(Linking up with Grace and Truth)