Taste and See
I watch as my kids cast sideways glances at the skillet that rests on the table. Its’ contents are very colorful. To them, dangerously so. They know that vegetable sautees like this one may very well contain (gulp) onions, peppers, squash, and cabbage. Could there be a tomato somewhere in the mix, too?
I can see the gears within their heads spinning as their eyes roam the contours of the steaming cookware. They are contemplating: should I raise an objection? Should I ask, “Do I have to eat all of it to get dessert?” Can I force a smile onto my face as I examine this dish? Am I able to say, “Thanks, Mom!” when a large dollop is placed upon my plate? As a father of eight, I can read their minds. It has come with the territory.
My children look askance at the offering on the table because at first glance, it contains more than they are comfortable with. And in their faces, I see my own.
You see, I tend to look askance at the offering that the Lord places on the table before me. We know very well that the life He calls His children to is not one that is free of bitterness. It is not all sweet treats and delicacies. Instead, He has told us that “in this world, [we] will have trouble” (John 16:33). As we walk through this life, like Job, Paul, Jesus, and countless others, our heavenly Father has prepared sufferings and intermixed them with the delights of His creation. He has peppered our days with sorrows and trials. And all the while, He has maintained His smiling countenance and loving demeanor.
Just as we prepare our children’s meals with an end goal of healthy bodies and healthy eating habits, God has our good in mind with the fare He provides. He is making us more like Christ through all things He ordains (Romans 8:28-29). Like John the Baptist, our portion consists of honey from His hand, but also locusts. We have sweet fellowship with Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ, but also bitterness as the result of the Fall. The glorious truth is that God is infusing our lives with the aroma of Christ. He is the one who did not shun the cup of wrath, but took it and drank it to the dregs.
And here I am, eyeing up the table spread before me. Considering if the delicious joys of future grace will outweigh the acidic challenges that come first. Thinking of objections to raise that may change the menu. My heavenly Father sees my mind’s ruminations. He says, “Trust me, child, it is good for you. Taste and see that it is good.”