by Travis Daggett
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good….”
The other evening, we were over at some peoples’ house and the wife is an excellent gardener. Actually, after looking at everything she’s growing, I’d say she’s an excellent farmer! As we made our way around to look at all the plants and produce, we paused at the celery and carrots. She explained that she used organic methods and, as a result, the food often tasted differently than most of the produce found in stores. She said that many people don’t like her celery and carrots raw because the flavor is too intense, so she puts it in stew and they like it that way. I tasted the celery and, sure enough, it was awesome! In comparison, the celery I’m used to has zero flavor. I find myself thinking of ways I can grow my own, or get my hands on the real deal.
Our American culture has a lot of things we can taste; food (whenever and wherever we want it), sex (without consequences), entertainment (again, according to our schedule and demands), drugs, alcohol, even surface-level relationships that revolve around the latest sports news and celebrity gossip. Like most people, I’ve tasted a lot of it. And it’s NOT good. It might taste good at first, but it leaves me empty. Like eating a bowl of white rice and getting hungry an hour later. Or even worse, it can have hidden side-effects. Addictions and habits that master me and lead to regret and pain. The problem is, when we don’t have anything to compare it too, it can seem good, or at least okay for awhile.
God is so good – He is patient, waiting for us to taste Him. To experience His goodness. Is He intense? Yes, infinitely so. Check out what he says to Moses:
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you” . . . “But”, he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
That’s intense! Just as He passed by Moses and allowed Him to get a glimpse of His goodness, He reveals Himself to us in His perfect timing and in His perfect way. I want to be constantly overwhelmed by Him and His goodness. Some days, I am. Some days, I’m not. I’m learning and growing. And He’s always there, beside me, gently prompting me to draw near to Him. The more we spend time with Him and get to know Him – how He thinks, how He sees people – the less we want to taste what the world offers. The result is evident to the people around us. Experiencing His goodness changes us for the better. Spending time with Him makes us more like Him. There is no such thing as a Christ-follower who loves people less as he spends more time with God.
So, like Moses, let’s ask Him to show Himself to us. It may not be comfortable, it may not be predictable, but it will be good – because He is good. Like Peter said when Jesus asked him if he wanted to desert him “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” In other words, we only have two alternatives. It’s either God and His goodness, or ourselves and our emptiness. Let’s make the same decision that Peter made. After all, the only thing that this world has to offer is store-bought celery.