I got sick last summer. This isn’t shocking news. But really, who gets sick in the summer?
Me! I came down with a nasty cold twice in a two-month period — both times when I was traveling. I hadn’t been sick in years and was beginning to think I was invincible.
The second bout of sickness came on suddenly during our family beach vacation. I woke up to find the sun shining and my nose stuffy and snotty. (TMI? Sorry.)
Unfortunately, it kept getting worse … to the point that I couldn’t smell or taste. Anything.
Sipping (tasteless) coffee one morning and sniffling in the (odorless) ocean air, I started feeling sorry for myself. I’m on vacation! I just got over a cold! Why is this happening again?
We were planning a bike ride that day. And even though I could barely breathe, I figured at least I could still see and move my body.
One of the charming parts of staying along Florida’s scenic Highway 30A is the bike routes. (If you ever get the chance to go, do it! It’s paradise.)
Pedaling our neon pink and blue rental bikes, we hightailed down the highway to Deer Lake State Park, admiring its unique sand dunes and unbeatable beach views.
Still sans some of my senses, I kept pace with our group as we traveled a few more miles to find a spot with shops and restaurants.
Hungry, I reluctantly ordered only because I can’t pass up an everything bagel smothered with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
It’s not a mild meal. I figured I might get lucky and taste something. And just as I was biting into my bagel, my Apple Watch pinged with an alert. My verse of the day surfaced on screen:
Taste and see that the Lord is good.Psalm 34:8
I swallowed, and I TASTED! All the things. In shock and awe, I savored every last morsel of that miraculous meal.
All I could think as I was chewing: God, you are so good!
In that moment, regaining my sense of taste felt like the kindest gift. (What can I say? I enjoy eating.) Nevermind that just a couple hours earlier, I’d been a bit perturbed, grumbling at God in the midst of my sickly circumstances.
How often do we let our circumstances dictate the degree of our faith? When we fixate on our problems, whether petty or serious, it’s tempting to complain or even conclude that God is not good to us.
But he extends an invitation … Taste and see. Even his smallest gestures nourish our souls. Tasting his goodness that day set my sight back on him and away from myself.
It’s second-nature to live by sight. In order to believe, to trust, I want to see. I prefer a tangible guarantee. But God asks us to live differently. To walk by faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1
Faith equals confidence and assurance. It includes a sense of anticipation. It begins when we believe that God is who he says, and it matures when we trust he will do good — even when we can’t see or we think there’s evidence to the contrary.
That day in Florida, the Lord helped me “see” through tasting — an unexpected (to me) yet divinely timed gift. He spoke to me through a short, sweet verse.
God gives the best gifts. Not because we deserve them. But because it’s who he is. And he gives us his Word, the Bible, so we can discover his plans, his promises, and our purpose.
Friend, I don’t know what circumstances you’re facing — a sickness that seems unending, a job that isn’t a good fit, a family member who is suffering — but you have a choice. When you’re tempted to doubt your place, God’s plans, or his goodness, you can choose instead to trust him. Because what you see and feel isn’t the full story.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.Hebrews 11:6
When you can’t see, seek. Believe that God sees you. He knows your heart, your hurts and needs. He is with you. In fact, he sent his Son, Jesus, to make a way for you to come to him.
So if you’re looking for answers, if you’re sick of circumstances that seem confusing or unfair, God warmly invites you to taste and see. To try it his way. To trust. To pray. To open your Bible and read with anticipation, believing he will speak into your situation. And he will move.
He is the God who works wonders. He always has more for us. So let’s seek him and wait with anticipation, open to seeing, to experiencing his goodness through all of our senses — physical and spiritual.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!Psalm 119:103
Has God spoken to you through a verse recently? Or is there a passage you turn to in tough times? I’d love to hear from you!