Taste and see how good the Lord is! The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy! (Psalm 34:8, Common English Bible).
This is part 22 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.
I love potatoes. I would eat potatoes in some form every meal, if I could. Baked, boiled, fried, mixed with other stuff, it doesn’t really matter. I love potatoes. They just taste so good. They are one of those foods that, at least to me, when you taste them, you immediately know why God put them on the planet. To very loosely paraphrase the psalmist, “Taste and see how good the Lord is when you stick a fork load of potatoes in your mouth.” I know, that is not what the scriptures say. I told you, it was a very loose paraphrase.
Like I said, I would eat potatoes every meal, if I could. But, I can’t. Potatoes are loaded with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body and for a diabetic, that isn’t a good thing. When I was told I was diabetic I conducted a little experiment. I found that I could eat a Reece’s Fast-Break candy bar and have less impact on my blood sugar than eating a small serving of potatoes. I am not going to say I never eat potatoes anymore. That would be untrue. What is true, I don’t have them often and they are always in a very small serving. It just isn’t worth running my sugar up that much.
In today’s lesson the psalmist says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” We can’t really taste God of course. And, when we look at the second half of the verse, “The one who takes refuge in him is truly happy” they don’t seem to make much sense when read literally. After all, taking refuge and tasting are two completely different activities and yet the psalmist wrote them together.
When I read this verse I interpret it as saying, “God is good, give God a try. When you truly do you will discover you are truly happy.” Others might think I am wrong in my interpretation but I don’t think so. All we have that is good comes from God. When we are living in God’s realm, we will find real and true happiness.
I like the psalmist’s words because of the analogy of taste. Think about your family Thanksgiving table. I know there are families, or at least family members who are never happy and such can lead to no one being happy. But, for most of us, as we sit around the Thanksgiving table with our family or with our friends, and we partake of so much goodness that God created (our family members may have prepared it but God did the creating), so many things that taste so good, it becomes really easy to look on the faces of all our loved ones and see they are happy. It isn’t a happiness that will last, but those foods that taste so good to us, bring us at least a momentary happiness and joy.
It isn’t when we taste the food we find ultimate happiness and joy. That comes when we “taste” God, when we really give God a try in our lives and we learn that living for God brings us real and permanent happiness and joy. That does not mean that sadness won’t encroach on our lives every now and then. Things happen and a little sadness can be the result. It is just that we don’t live there.
So for me, when I see the mashed potatoes on the Thanksgiving table, when I dig in and taste the goodness of not only the mashed potatoes but all that good and tasty food, it not only brings me some joy and happiness, it also reminds me of the goodness of God. That goodness brings me real and lasting joy and happiness. For that I am thankful. I am thankful not only because the mashed potatoes taste so good. I am eternally thankful that I can taste and see that the Lord is good which brings me real happiness and joy.
So would someone please pass me the mashed potatoes. I want just a little to remind me that I can and do, “Taste and see how good the Lord is.”
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved