My thoughts (David Zier):
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in [God]” (NIV).
This is my favorite verse in the Bible. I love its simplicity and all the meaning this verse brings to my mind. When I looked at the definition of taste in on-line dictionaries, beyond the obvious meaning, I found definitions such as, “a sample of experience” (e.g. the first taste of success) or “perceive, discern, or experience . . .” (e.g. taste blood on your lips . . . [This is just a saying!]). These definitions got my attention because this is what I think when I read this. Several commentaries suggest this verse, when it was written, meant something very deep and meaningful. I will put this into my own words. To taste and see that God is good is to relish and delight in God’s goodness manifested in and by God’s gifts, and in the contemplation of God’s infinite perfections and boundless love, and to be persuaded and convinced of God’s goodness as to be encouraged in the worst of times.
Taste and see how God is good.
A few years ago, we had our MCC network meeting at our church. As Co-Lead of the Central United States Eastern Network in our denomination, I had many responsibilities; and as I normally do, I probably took on more than I ought. We had big plans, we had a good registration, and many people from our network churches from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Paducah, Kentucky were present.
We had a dinner together of about 30 people on Friday evening before the event on Saturday. People were arriving at 6:00 p.m. for appetizers. Dinner started at 7:00 p.m. Jeff, my spouse, came out at 6:15 and told me that Mercy, our dog, was having trouble breathing, and that he should run her up to the emergency veterinarian. When Jeff returned, I thought all was okay. When everyone left, he told me that Mercy did not make it. I broke down. I had lots to do to get ready for the morning, but I did not care. After I got myself together, I put my stuff away and drove home in a very somber mood, leaving many things undone.
The next morning, I got news that one of the workshop leaders had a family emergency and was taking her mom to the hospital. My mind was not exactly focused, and it was something else to deal with, but I just let it go. Normally I would be trying to get things back into control, but I just had to let them go. Someone helped me get the booklet materials printed. Others helped to pull together the worship service with key people missing. I stepped aside by myself and gave myself 15 minutes of prayer and quiet. With all that was happening, fifteen minutes was not enough time to fix every thing going on, so fifteen minutes of prayer time and settling into God might be helpful. It gave me some peace.
My personality is such that parts of me wish things had gone better that day. I had to improvise on some things, but I just did not allow myself to worry. It is what it is. That time I spent with God that morning was a reminder to taste and see how good God is. Everything would be okay. Mercy, our beloved dog, wasn’t here any longer, but I was blessed by her life.
Life gets messy. Being perfect isn’t the issue. Allowing myself to feel God’s presence is the issue. Taste and see how God is good. I felt blessed. I felt God’s grace. That is something for which I am very grateful.
Prayer for the day: God, help me to taste and see how good you are. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.