You may have noticed it’s been a while since I last posted anything other than Word Nerd Wednesday pieces around here, but I’m back after my summer sabbatical and excited to dive into the idea of tasting God as a means of experiencing Him through the senses He gave us.
In His infinite wisdom and perfect timing, God provided me with some insights to share with you as I taught my boys’ Sunday School lesson this past week (something I usually avoid like the plague).
Our Sense of Taste
If you’ve ever spent any time around a baby you know how crucial their sense of taste is to exploring the world around them. Much to most mothers’ dismay, tasting things is an instinctual way to experience their surroundings.
As we get older we earn not everything should actually go into our mouths, but we can still learn a lot from the way God created us to taste. Science discovered our tastebuds are equipped to discern 5 different tastes, some to varying degrees.
Sweet: Sweet things tend to give us quick energy that sometimes doesn’t last. Experts seem to agree that we tend to overindulge our sweet tooth, some even suggest eliminating them entirely from our diet. But for most otherwise healthy people, indulging in sweets, like cake, cookies, and many fruits, from time to time in moderation produces pleasant emotions.
Bitter: Tasting bitter things can produce an unpleasant experience. But these foods are often high in antioxidants which ward off cancer and other diseases. Some examples are kale, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Sour: Tasting sourness was once a protective ability. When things tasted sour, people knew they had gone bad and should avoid them, like sour milk. But lemons, yogurt, and sourdough bread are other examples.
Umami: This is the Japanese word for delicious. It can also mean savory, like the flavors we find in broths, meats, green tea, sorry sauce, and cooked tomatoes.
Salty: I think we all know too much salt doesn’t taste good and can even cause health problems. Salt is an additive to many recipes used to bring out and enhance the flavors of a dish. Too little is of no use.
*some more recent research hints at our ability to taste fat, but it’s inconclusive.
We often use these same words to talk about our life experiences.
That was a sweet thing to do.
I’m so bitter.
She is one sour woman.
Savor every moment.
He sure is salty.
We have a variety of experiences in the years we spend on this earth; some are good and some are unpleasant, some are downright awful. Much like the ingredients in a recipe, all these tastes mix together to form our lives. God takes them and turns them into something good because He is good.
Sour vinegar, bitter soda, sweet raisins, and a dash of salt don’t sound all that good mixed together, but the raisin cake we made in Sunday school was absolutely delicious.
We can’t leave out any of the ingredients because we don’t like them. They all have a role to play Jesus told us we’d have trouble this side of heaven, but He also said He came to give us abundant life. When we share the events of our lives, the good, the bad, and the ugly with other people, we also get to share with them how good our God is, even when our circumstances aren’t.
Tasting is Personal
Just thinking about the super-sweetness of a donut first thing in the morning is enough to make my teeth hurt. Donuts are among the few sweets that don’t tempt me. But I know plenty of people who think I’m crazy. Not all of us are capable of tasting things the same way. Some people cannot taste certain flavors at all. Others are super-sensitive to some things.
The same is true in life. We all taste things differently based on our previous experiences, education, beliefs, upbringing, perspectives, and desires. We cannot expect two people to react the same way or come to the same conclusions about God based on similar experiences.
Tasting God Requires a Guide
If you’ve ever been to a wine tasting, you know how helpful it is to have an experienced Sommelier to guide you through the process. Someone to tell us what we are tasting, help us distinguish the different flavor notes as they hit specific spots in our mouths, suggest methods for swishing and spitting that make it possible to taste more effectively, and ensure we get all the best flavors from the experience
Sometimes we need a trained and knowledgeable person to guide our life experience, too. Even mature Christians need Pastors and mentors to guide our God-tasting, to discern what we are experiencing in light of the truth, and to coach us in techniques for remembering that God is good when what we feel isn’t. When what we feel isn’t good, we tend to think God isn’t either or that He doesn’t love us. But that’s not truth. In Mark 10:18 Jesus tells us, “No one is good—except God alone.”
God provides us with a church community of people in various stages of spiritual development to help one another evaluate the different flavors we face in this life and come to the true conclusion we read in our key verse…
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
The Holy Spirit and the people God gives us as guides help us find the good in God.
*So that when we taste the sweeter side of life we see God’s goodness and give thanks to God from Whom all blessings flow.
*So that when we taste the bitter sting of rejection we see God’s goodness in protecting us.
*So that when we taste sourness from those around us we see God’s goodness and mercy extended to all people.
*So that when we savor the fleeting moments of this life we see God’s goodness in making a way for eternal life with Him.
*So that when we taste the saltiness of an anointed experience we see God’s goodness magnified in all creation.
How have you tasted God’s goodness? Is there a situation in your life right now where you need some help seeing it? I’m here for you, just reach out.Sometimes we need a guide to help us taste God's goodness. #Psalm 34:8a #TastingGod #ExperiencingGod #Godisgood #5senses Click To Tweet
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light, and Becoming Press’s Writer Wednesday, Moments of Hope