by Rhonda Rhea
I was more than a little worried that my new diet was going to be altogether too difficult. Oh, these meal plans. The first day went something like this:
Meal one: 6 organic, conflict-free cashews and a teaspoon of orange peel, zested
Meal two: 3 almonds, 4 banana strings and 2 medium-sized ice cubes
For meal three, the instructions were to lick three carrots, read the label on a box of rice cakes and then stare long and hard at those jeans that once fit.
A little harsh, right? Is there such a thing as discomfort food? I couldn’t see making the new diet work at all until I considered trying it with this new appetite suppressant I discovered. Finally, an appetite suppressant that actually works. Really well. It’s: half a pepperoni pizza. Large.
I’m kidding about the diet, of course. That one would never work. Partly because there’s nothing there that would make for a good photo. Most of us have accepted the fact that nothing food-related is ever successful until it’s been posted on at least three social media platforms. If I ever really do try one of the meals on the plan, though, I’ll be sure to hashtag it and get back to you.
There’s no doubt I’m ever at the ready to spend way too much time getting silly about a low-fatty, high-faddy, social-chatty diet. But when it comes to what I’m consuming spiritually, I do try to steer clear of a lot of jesting. Or zesting.
Still, we’re reminded in Psalm 34:8 to “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” (HCSB). I love that reminder—that calling—to not merely observe the Lord. It’s not about simply reading the label. We’re called to experience. To become ultra-personally familiar. To consume, even. To internalize.
Every time we truly experience the Lord personally, we find Him altogether and oh so profoundly good. Charles Spurgeon said that “Faith is the soul’s taste.” I love that. Because He is so completely good, everyone who by faith tests and tastes, finds beautiful blessing. The second part of Psalm 34:8 says, “How happy is the man who takes refuge in Him!” There is blessing, happiness, even safety, in personally connecting with the Father.
I confess I’ll never truly put that new diet to the test. Never taste. Never experience it personally. Frankly, I don’t love it and I don’t see any reason to trust it.
But I do know and trust my God. The more I experience Him, the more I understand how fully I can trust everything He is, everything He does, everything He says. We read in Job 23:12, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily food,” (HCSB). Communing with Him—in prayer, by His Word and by the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit—leads to trusting, and trusting leads to treasuring.
We never treasure Him to the fullest until we experience Him to the fullest. Experiencing a real and vital relationship with the Father brings us to the sweetest appreciation, the sweetest love, the sweetest, safest place of trust and blessing.
That Psalm 34:8 reminder makes me more determined than ever to taste and see. It doesn’t say, “see but don’t eat.” And it’s not “taste and tweet” either. The blessing is in meeting with Him, each for ourselves, at that delicious place of faith.
So go ahead. Put Him to the test. Truly do ingest. It’s there you’ll be most blessed. And find the perfect rest. Never mind the orange zest.