Guest Post by Malaya Gaboury.
Just over a year ago, I sat in the dining hall at the Derwenter Youth Hostel, staring at a blank sheet of paper. If I focused on the melody of the instrumental music playing in the background, I could make out the tune of Oceans, right at the part that goes “And I will call upon your name.” It was our next to last session of the Emerging Peacemakers program, and everyone was given a chance to reflect on the things we had learned and the ways we had grown over the past week.
That was when it hit me. Two small words changed the way I looked at this whole week: Taste and See. Psalm 34:8 says “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Taste and see. The words bounced around in my thoughts. What does it mean to taste and see that the Lord is good?
How did I “taste and see,” God’s goodness during the Emerging Peacemakers program? I began a list:
I tasted God’s goodness in the relationships that were built and friendships that were made this week.
I saw God’s goodness in the open and honest conversations that were had.
I tasted God’s goodness as I stepped out of my comfort zone. I shared my honest thoughts in group discussions, and as I did this I learned that I don’t need to be a perfectionist in my faith, nor do I need to hide the messy parts from other people.
I saw God’s goodness in his design for the body of Christ to strengthen and encourage one another.
Looking back, I can easily name ways that I experienced God’s goodness to me over the course of that week. As I write this article, a sigh escapes me. It’s so easy to count God’s goodness then, but what about now?
God’s invitation in this season is the same. It’s the same invitation for me, and it’s the same invitation for you: taste and see.
Tasting and seeing that the Lord is good means fully experiencing God’s goodness. Tasting and seeing means not only knowing that the Lord is good, but also being a witness to his goodness, experiencing his goodness firsthand, and willingly receiving the gifts of his goodness.
It may feel counterintuitive, maybe even wrong, to taste and see in this season. How do we taste and see God’s goodness in the middle of a pandemic that has altered life as we knew it? How do we taste and see God’s goodness when strife and injustice and death run rampant? How do we taste and see God’s goodness in the midst of anxiety and stress, when we barely have it in us to say “God is good”?
Taste and see. Because of this direct invitation from God to us, we have assurance that God will come and show His goodness to us, giving us the opportunity to taste and see.
This invitation is radical. The world is sick and broken, but that doesn’t deny the fact that God is good.Tasting and seeing God’s goodness will not only do ourselves good, but also do good to our broken world. Experiencing God’s goodness gives us the opportunity to testify to what we are seeing God do in us, which in turn gives hope to the world.
If ever there was a time, now is the time to taste and see. Now is the time to remember God’s invitation and extend this invitation to others.
How am I tasting and seeing that God is good this week? I start a new list:
I’ve seen God’s goodness at school, as He reminds me that He is with me and that I do not need to be afraid.
I’ve tasted God’s goodness in my delight over the small things: chocolate oatmeal, caramel lattes, and Saturday morning walks with my mom and sister.
I’ve seen God’s goodness every time I hang out with friends because God has blessed me with friends who reflect His love for me in really tangible ways.
How are you tasting and seeing that God is good this week? The second part of Psalm 34:8 says “blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” As you seek God this week, know that God will meet you. He is for you. He is your refuge. He is standing at the head of a fully prepared banquet table, eagerly beckoning you over. Inviting you to taste and see.
Malaya Gaboury is a native New Yorker who loves Jesus, coffee, sappy books, and theater. When she’s not writing, you can find her singing show tunes with her dad and sister, roaming about the city with friends, or curled up on the couch with a book in hand. She firmly believes that God is actively at work in her generation and that no one is too young to have a big life with God.
Connect with her on her blog, Life Abundant, where she explores what it means to follow Jesus in our day to day lives.