Weekly Devotional – Week of Monday, December 14, 2020
Almighty and Everlasting God, come now by the power of your Holy Spirit and meet us in this our great time of need. Open our hearts and minds to the truth of your Holy Word. Nourish us in your truth and satisfy our deepest desires for life. Fill our hearts with all joy and gladness as we meditate upon you and your mighty deeds. All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen
Bible Reading – Psalm 34:8-10
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (English Standard Version)
Devotional – Experiencing the Good of Advent
I think it is fair to say I am a foodie. I love to cook and I love to experience the full flavors of food. Food can be such a wonderful source of joy and goodness in our lives. This is the reason why our lives tend to revolve around good meals. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Birthdays are a few examples of the celebrations of life that we commemorate through the delight of flavorful and tasty morsels of goodness. This is the way it has always been. Tasty food is something we associate with joy and goodness in life.
Recently I have experienced the unfortunate condition of losing all sense of taste and smell, because of the COVID virus. On the scale of serious symptoms that this virus brings, sense of taste and smell is really not all that important. It is surely better to lose taste and smell rather than experience the loss of the precious and vital gift of breath, which many have suffered. Never-the-less losing taste and smell does have a way of robbing a person from experiencing the joy and delight of life.
When you lose taste and smell, eating is no longer a delight, but rather a necessity. Food is still good of course, because it provides the nourishment that our bodies need for strength and stamina, but the enjoyment of food is completely lost. When the enjoyment of food is lost, the goodness of that food is easily called into question. I know I need to eat because it is good for me, but I really lack any desire to go through the trouble of eating because it provides no joy or delight in my life.
In Psalm 34, King David declared, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” What a great word for us of the joy and delight we have in the experience of God’s goodness. When we fear the Lord we lack for nothing. In Him, the Author, Creator, and Sustainer of life we possess all good things we need in life. We are nourished in His love and mercy. We find sustenance in the truth of His Holy Word. We feast on His grace and peace. When we can enjoy the blessed experience of God’s goodness, life is full and abundant. But what about the times in our live when we just cannot taste it?
There are times in our lives when we just cannot taste the goodness of the Lord. We all experience seasons where we lose our sense of taste and suffer the loss of that sense of God’s goodness. Maybe it is a time of great suffering or maybe it is because of the pain of a significant loss in our lives. Inevitably there are times when we look around and just cannot taste the goodness of God. What are we to do in those times?
It is in those times that we need to rely on the goodness of God alone and trust that He is all the nourishment that we need in life, even if we just cannot taste His goodness for ourselves. Advent is season that reminds us that no matter what we are going through in any given moment, God’s goodness is real and ever present in our lives. God loves us so much that He came into the world to save us. God cares about us so much that He continues to come into our lives daily. God is so concerned about our ultimate well-being that He will come again to make all things new. Just because we cannot always taste His goodness does not mean that it is not there.
I have high hopes that my sense of taste and smell will return to me shortly, but in the meantime, I continue to eat because it is good for me. Even if taste never returns to me, I will continue to eat because I am dependent upon it for life. Friends in the same way continue to feast on the goodness of our God even if you just cannot taste it at the moment. Remember that Jesus came into the world to save you. Be encouraged that He is with you right now and draw hope in the promise that all our suffering will eventually come to an end when He returns. And through it all I pray that your sense of taste and delight in the goodness of God will return to you, one day soon.
Heavenly Father thank you that you are a good and righteous God. You are always more ready to hear than we are to pray. Have mercy upon us when through the trials of life, we lose the joy of tasting your goodness that is always at work in our lives. Come now by the power of your Holy Spirit and renew in us the joy and delight of your goodness towards us through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.