Day 5 of a horrible cold and my taste buds are AWOL. It’s the strangest thing. I place an object of culinary delight on my tongue and, well, nothing happens. I can’t taste a thing. I’ve been this way for several days. In my initial panic, I randomly bounced from one food to the next, frantically taking oversized bites, telling myself, “Surely something will satisfy my taste buds.”
My teenage son is most amused by this predicament. “Here mom, try this jalapeño and see if you can taste it!”
I watch others consume a bowl of ice cream…my absolute favorite food…and I salivate like Pavlov’s dog. I hunger for the flavor of my own creamy frozen mixture complete with tart, juicy strawberries and crunchy hunks of chocolate. Half-way to the freezer, I am struck with the image of the only physical sensation I will experience in such an indulgence–the coldness of a spoon on my tongue.
Frustrated, I reached a point a few days ago where I ignored the roar of hunger pains. I figured, “What’s the use? If I can’t taste anything I might as well be eating the cardboard from the Domino’s delivery box rather than consume the calories from the pizza itself.”
In the absence of food, it didn’t take long before I was weak and unable to complete even the simplest tasks without exhaustion. Hunger had not escaped me. Neither had my body’s on-going need for nutrition. Denial would not alter that reality. I only found myself feeling sicker.
Being the deeply spiritual woman I am, I complained to God about this situation. Not far into my whiney tirade I stopped midsentence. I heard myself saying, “Lord, I’m just not tasting ANYTHING and I want…”
Pausing in embarrassed silence, I heard him say, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8. The words linger on my heart like sweet honey on my tongue.
Have your spiritual taste buds ever been on hold?
Perhaps you are a devoted follower of Christ but you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have time everyday to spend feasting on God’s Word, alone and still before the Lord’s Table spread for you. Life is demanding. You hit the ground running, not pausing for even a small morsel of His goodness.
Perhaps you are child of God in a prodigal state, or perhaps a nonbeliever who has found yourself unable to taste the goodness of God. You have run as I did from one promise of flavor to another, taking big bites of things you hoped would satisfy. They didn’t. Nor could they. Maybe you dug into something you thought would be delicious only to find it left you cold and unfulfilled. Your hunger pains did not subside. In fact, they grew even louder. Ultimately, your condition worsened and you felt sick.
Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.” When we fail to taste of Him, we not only deplete our soul of spiritual nutrients, we steal strength from the rest of the Body. We walk in our weak flesh and easily find ourselves exhausted from the simplest efforts. The psalmist paints a desperate picture when he describes “a heart that thirsts after Thee and a body wasted with longing for Thee like a dry and thirsty land that has no water…”, Psalm 63:1
Yet the recognition of desperation for God is rewarded in the verses which follow:
“Longing, I come before Thee in the sanctuary to look upon your power and your glory. Your true love is better than life. Therefore, I will sing your praises. And so I bless thee all my life and lift my hands in prayer. I am satisfied as with a rich and sumptuous feast…” Psalm 63:2-5
The Bread of Life calls us to his banquet table. He IS the rich and sumptuous feast. He alone has the power to satisfy and to fill us. In being filled, we not only find strength and power that sustains, we also experience His goodness. As we come and still our hungry hearts before him, we indeed Taste and see that the Lord is GOOD.