Taste God’s Goodness
By Whitney Hopler
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8 NIV
Vegetable broth bubbled in multiple pots as the girls in my daughter’s Girl Scout troop cooked a stew together. The stew featured an outlandish variety of vegetables – a fresh version of every item the girls wanted to contribute – potatoes, onions, carrots, zucchini, celery, plum tomatoes, cabbage, squash, mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, green beans, lentil beans, peas, and corn. We seasoned the stew with even more ingredients – chopped garlic cloves, parsley, salt, and pepper. There was such a riot of food in this stew the girls joked the concoction would probably taste like nothing, with all the different flavors covering each other.
Once we tasted the meal, however, the result was just the opposite. Each flavor complemented the others. Every bite of the wonderful stew brought many layers of delight to our taste buds. The girls, who were earning nutrition badges through the activity, tasted how delicious healthy eating can be.
“Wow,” one girl exclaimed, “God is so creative!”
God has created a huge variety and abundance of food for us to grow, prepare, and eat however we like. Thanks to that, we can (and should) enjoy our food. Our taste buds remind us that every eating experience can open the door to wonder in our lives. Psalm 34:8 NIV encourages us to “taste and see that the LORD is good.” When we enjoy our food as a gift from God, we can discover and appreciate God’s goodness more. Ecclesiastes 9:7 NIV exhorts us to,
“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
Psalm 135:25 NIV connects God’s generous provision of food with his love, pointing out: “He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.” We often acknowledge God’s goodness at mealtimes when we say a grace prayer over our food to express our gratitude for it. But we can taste God’s goodness even more by exploring diverse kinds of food and savoring them all as good gifts from God. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Each time you buy groceries, buy a food you’ve never tasted. Whenever you discover a type of food you like, buy more and share it with your family.
- Eat out at different types of ethnic restaurants. Learn about various cultures around the world by eating their cuisine.
- Cook some new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner regularly.
The physical nourishment God gives us through food reminds us of his goodness and encourages us to trust him more. Jesus declares in John 6:35 NIV: “… ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”
Intersecting Faith and Life:
As you reflect on discovering God’s goodness through food, consider these questions:
- How does it feel to know God has created such a diverse and plentiful array of food for our nourishment and enjoyment?
- Take time to eat slowly, and as you savor your food, think about these questions: What are the flavors and textures you’re experiencing? Where did the ingredients in your meal come from, and how were they grown or prepared? Who brought this meal to your table, from the farmers to the cook who prepared it?
- What are some of your favorite foods, and why? How can you plan to savor those foods the next time you eat them to cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude for God’s goodness in your life?
- Do you say a grace prayer at meals? If so, how does that help you focus on God’s goodness as you eat?
- What is one recipe for a meal you would like to try cooking soon?
- Which restaurant would you like to try for the first time in your area?
- How might you share God’s provision of food with others who may not have access to the same abundance or variety?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/SARINYAPINNGAM
Whitney Hopler is the author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). She has also written the young adult novel Dream Factory. Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.
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