May 5, 2017
“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8 (NLT)
“Drink your food for the next three weeks!” Doctor’s orders for my 6-year-old girl.
A few days before, our daughter followed her big brothers down a hill on her bike — a hill that proved too tall for our youngest bike rider. After x-rays, cat scans and doctors’ evaluations, they determined she suffered a badly broken jaw.
To help her heal, they sealed her jaw shut. Wires clenched her teeth together to provide stability for her bones and reduce the risk of greater trauma. Her new normal demanded a liquid diet. The task of finding one meal for my daughter to drink, much less three weeks’ worth of meals, left me concerned.
I walked up and down the grocery store gathering ideas. Hmmm ... we could blend this and add that, and oooh I bet she’d like this.
The first meal I served through a straw we named the “pizza drink.” OK, it was really just tomato soup, but anytime you can add pizza to the title it sounds so much better.
After a few days, we landed on a favorite breakfast drink. Because it was her favorite color, we named it the “pink drink,” and it immediately became a staple. She liked most sweet, fruit-filled drinks, but after a few days of mostly fruit smoothies, her new diet began to take a toll on her body.
She felt dizzy and emotional, and her already lean body grew even thinner.
We tried heartier drinks like chicken soup and chocolate peanut butter shakes, but she didn’t want them. We practically begged her to drink them, but she wouldn’t.
Maybe she didn’t like the color. Maybe she didn’t like the smell. Maybe she thought it was too thick or too thin. I don’t really know, but somehow she came to the conclusion the new drinks weren’t good, and she wouldn’t drink them.
Our key verse highlights a different kind of goodness. One not for our stomachs, but for our souls. I’m afraid that much like my daughter made up her mind about her liquids before they ever touched her tongue, we, too, can form opinions about God and His goodness.
Then, when tragedy strikes or life shatters our expectations, we don’t take refuge in the Lord or His goodness. When the worst-case scenario plays out or our future feels hopeless, we turn to what’s familiar, even if it fails us.
For me, familiar means working harder. When chaos swirls around me, my instinct is to think longer, talk more, stay up later or type faster. I want to turn inward and lean on myself.
All the while my Bible sits closed on the table as the words tucked into the pages beckon me, “Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)
After several days of failed attempts to convince my little girl to sip something new, we finally found an answer. One night she decided she loved blended chicken pot pie. She took one sip and was hooked. Hallelujah! I have no explanation other than we prayed desperately for God to help us nourish her through this time.
She drank a lot of chicken pot pie over the next few weeks. And the more she drank the less she complained of feeling dizzy or tired. She tasted, and she saw what we prepared for her was good.
To taste God’s goodness, we must first be willing to try it. Because tasting is something no one else can do for you. Sure, I can take a bite and tell you how wonderful it is, but you have to taste it for yourself.
So let me do just that. Friend, I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord. Is. Good. He’s better than anything I’ve ever tried. And He’s left me so full I don’t need to try anything else. If I could sit across the table from you right now I’d slide God’s Word your way and say, you have to try this!
Our good, gracious and unmatchable Lord, You. Are. Good. Forgive me for ever seeking to satisfy my soul somewhere else. Thank You for Your continual pursuit of us, beckoning us to taste and see all that awaits us when we take refuge in You. Help me today to turn to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (NIV)
Matthew 4:4, “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’” (NIV)
Have you ever felt like you’re working so hard to be a “better” Christian, only to feel more frustrated than ever? Join us for the next First 5 study, “Christ Alone,” and read Paul’s letters as he communicates one simple truth: Jesus is all you need. The study starts May 22 — get your Experience Guide here! Don’t have the app yet? Download the First 5 app for free!
Stop by Katy McCown’s blog today for some practical ways to taste God’s goodness and to enter to win a free registration to her new online retreat, Your Life: Simplified.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think of a time in your life that was hard. Where did you turn first? Was it to a friend or family member? Did you seek out physical comfort from a person or drink or food?
Copy today’s key verse on a piece of paper, and keep it somewhere you’ll see it often. The next time you’re tempted to seek satisfaction somewhere else, you’ll be reminded to seek out God’s goodness and refuge.
© 2017 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 05 May 2017.