Lately, we’ve noticed that our sweet baby Nora has started sucking on her toes. Yes that’s right. Sucking on her toes. She’s a flexible little thing.
It’s really funny looking, but we were discussing among family members last week how she puts things in her mouth in order to better understand the world around her. If Nora is curious about something, she will grab it and put it in her mouth in order to test it. Even her toes. Even her hearing aids unfortunately (we’re really working on that one).
Every time I see her doing her new favorite activity, I am reminded of Psalm 34:8 that says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Just as Nora tests out her surroundings by tasting whatever she can drag to her drooly little mouth, the Lord invites us to “taste” and enjoy Him.
I know that I haven’t been doing much tasting lately. I’ve been reading the Bible with glassy eyes and an unfocused mind– I’ve been merely smelling the delicious feast that is the Word of the Almighty rather than partaking in the party that Christ invited me to long ago. There is a huge difference between reading the Word and meditating on the Word in such a way that each verse sinks into one’s heart and mind and thoughts. Simply allowing my eyes to scan the same old Bible stories is not the same as rolling His Words around in my mouth, chewing on them, and digesting them completely. His Word is food for my soul, yet I’ve been so hungry.
Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” When we decide to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” we always like what we taste. And we crave more. Because He is good, and His commandments are for our joy.
But “tasting” isn’t just meditating on Scripture in order to better know the heart of God, it’s also leaning on Jesus in prayer. This is where I struggle even more– it is so (I repeat, so) hard to pray while Nora is awake. I started reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer yesterday, and this morning I read: “People who know their God are before anything else people who pray…”
I can’t possibly express to you how deeply this convicted me. Lately I have been a poor communicator with my Creator. This morning I was obedient to Matthew 6:6 that says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret…” I literally went into my closet and shut the door. Even though Nora was crying (girl must be ready to pop a tooth), I desperately needed time with just me and the Lord. *Disclaimer: Nora was perfectly fine, I promise!
I am trying once again to build up my appetite for the Divine, because I have additionally found that if we don’t consistently “taste” Him by experiencing Him, the less and less we see that He is good. We forget that He tastes of great kindness, endless grace, rich mercy, unconditional forgiveness, boundless wisdom, incomparable strength, perfect comfort, righteous justice, sweet purity, heavy peace, overflowing joy, and forever-and-always love. Mmmm.
I don’t know if anyone else out there feels this way, but sometimes deep down I am afraid to come before Him in prayer after a long dry spell because I think He will be angry with me. But that is never the case. He is gracious to forgive me every single time, because of His great love for me. Is anything sweeter to the taste than the everlasting mercy of the King?
If anyone reading this has never tasted and witnessed the goodness of God, I must warn that “taste” is something each person must do on her own. No matter how well a pastor preaches or a Sunday school teacher teaches…experiencing the Lord’s goodness can’t be taught into somebody’s heart. It must be tasted.