Taste and see that the Lord is good:
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Today is the Sabbath, a day for rest, a day for taking refuge in the sanctuaries of our homes, our churches, our family, and our faith. Resisting the striving to simply know that He is God, as we taste and see His goodness round about us.
Walking through the garden the other day I was aware of how sweet the air smelled, the breeze carried honeysuckle, jasmine, and orange blossoms through eucalyptus and lemon trees. Imagine that. Intoxicating. The scent of earth and the whinny of horses, all of it home.
Later in the day, as I homeschooled my fifth grader, I encouraged him to use all five of his senses to layer descriptive words into his writing assignment. Inspired, I put a pad of unlined-paper in his hand and wrote see, smell, hear, taste & touch at the top of the page. Sending him outside I asked my son to find a location on our property and write me a poem using those powerful tools. The eleven year old swooshed the bangs from his forehead and rolled his eyes, slipped on his mother's flip-flops then sauntered out into her rose garden. When he returned he gave me this:
In the Garden
I see the magnificent roses on my mom’s bushes;
I smell the wonderful scent of blooming jasmine;
I reach over to touch the soft peddles of the rose;
I taste the fresh squeezed lemonade from our lemon trees,
cool in my hand.
I feel that I am at home in the garden.
That is the Sabbath... being at home in the garden of God's safe embrace, at the end of one busy week and the start of another. Purposing stillness to look closely, listen carefully, inhale deeply, touch gently, and taste, intentionally, the Lord's goodness toward us.
Today, this Sabbath Sunday, also marks the end of one full week of fasting - which may be part of why I'm slowing down as well. Depleted in one natural area of my being, that I might be aware of the supernatural at work without and within. Denying sugar that I can more fully experience the sweetness of The Lord's nearness.
One of the women who has joined along with this online community for our 40 day sugar-fast is author, Katie Reid. She sent me a message, the day I went for a walk outside, celebrating how her food tastes more flavorful and enjoyable than usual. The sweet tanginess of strawberries, the rich flavors at the dinner table. It reminded me of the scent on the breeze so I replied to her comment online, telling her so.
Back and forth we've been communicating about our discoveries. I've actually copied one of them and pasted it below because it was just so good. Read it with me:
"Last night the kids were going to get some tomato soup from an Indian restaurant and they said, "I'll bet it won't taste as good as yours does Mom." I told them that it is fine for them to like other people's food more than mine because other people can cook better than I can. This morning I was reflecting on that and thought about how we often feel "no one's cooking is like that of home." There is comfort in eating where you feel loved, safe and known.
Then it went deeper. Do we long for the taste and food of our REAL home - Heaven? As believers, that hunger for home should drive us and fuel us. How many times do we settle for a quick, cheap fix for our spiritual hunger rather than the real stuff; the rich fare of Heaven? I have heard in third world countries that believers often talk about heaven and look forward to it. Why? Maybe it is because their days aren't full of comforts or the varieties of foods and pleasures like we have. They hunger for heaven and delight in what's to come. But isn't it us who are malnourished? We feed our face on comforts and we lose a taste for the best yet to come.
Oh Lord, may we hunger for You. May we feast on Your Word and the "hope set before us." (see Hebrews 9:18). Some people think focusing so much on heaven means you are out of touch with reality. But heaven is a joyful reality for those in Christ- where we will taste and see where He is good (see Psalm 34:8). Oh that we would all turn and experience the great banquet to come!
& so much more
is on my mind
this Sabbath day.
Katie Reid is encouraging her friends on her own facebook page as she fasts from sugar as a means to letting God make her sweet. I encourage you to stop by and get to know her here.