"Open your mouth and TASTE, open your eyes and SEE, how good God is. Blessed are you who RUN to him." Psalm 34:8 (msg)
Over the past few months, this verse has clung to my heart and heightened my awareness of the Lord's abiding presence. Taking refuge in the Lord translates to “running to him.” We are invited to taste and see the goodness of the Lord each day, if we are willing. We get to run recklessly abandoned into his arms, towards what we taste and see. And when we do this we are blessed! I want to notice the Lord's goodness increasingly with each minute of each day. I want to uncover the mysterious and creative ways that the Lord allow us to SEE Him and TASE Him, in all things. He is revealed in so many MORE ways that we have the willingness to open our eyes to see, or the obedience to open our mouths and taste. This reality both saddens and excites me. I don't want my distracted attention span, or concern for the future, to prevent me from experiencing the Lord's present goodness. So often I define "good" by my own selfish desires. In doing so, I am prevented from experiencing the the "best" that the Lord strives for me to receive.
In "light" of summer, I had this idea to start blogging again. My idea is to write about one thing that I SEE, and one thing that I TASTE, that reminds me of the goodness of the Lord. I find such joy in the blooming beauty of Oregon summers, and such delight in the deliciousness of all the seasonal foods. I stand in awe of the sun setting over the golden wheat fields, and can't help but smile after stuffing my mouth with burnt mallows, and looking down at my blackberry stained hands. I want to train my mind to think about the way that the Lord loves me through each sunset, and each plumply ripe berry. I want to be wide-eyed to the work of His hands all around me.
My idea is to take two pictures each day. One picture that captures something that I saw that screamed God's beauty, and another picture of one thing I tasted, cooked, or baked that revealed God's glory. My Aunt Holly is one of the most Godly women I know, and I admire her awareness of the Lord's presence. She has such a genuine intimacy with creation. She lives on a vineyard in Corvallis, and every morning she walks the dogs around the farm, and takes pictures of things on the farm that the Lord uses to speak to her through His creation. One time while I was at her house this year, she was showing me pictures on her phone from that morning's walk. She showed me a picture of the vineyard, and she pointed out the good branches and the bad branches. She then began to explain how one of the branches is chaotically dispersed, but it is still growing and producing fruit. Then she pointed at the branch next to it that was well kept and pruned, and producing fruit as well. Both branches remain in the same vine. (John 15:5). I admired her ability to immediately connect scripture with with creation. Her willingness to look deeper at was right in front of her, allowed her to be reminded of a powerful truth.
Her pictures got my thoughts churning like butter, especially because John 15 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. I love the promises that it teaches, and how the Lord is faithful to produce fruit in our lives on HIS TIMING. Fruit doesn’t produce during it’s offseason, otherwise it would taste bad and not be desirable, but fruit that is perfectly ripe is attractive and delicious. Much like the blueberries right now:) Sometimes I feel like I am the chaotic branch that twists and tangles about without direction, but I am still producing good fruit as long as I remain in "The vine." When we remain in the Lord, He produces perfectly ripe fruit according to His timing. I don't want to be eating fruit that is not yet ripe, when I know that if I wait, it will taste much sweeter. I've heard it said before, "Good is the enemy of best." I don’t want to let my impatience compel me to eat unripened fruit and end up spitting it out in sour disgust.
Challenge: Each day take a picture of one way that I saw the Lord's grace abound, and one way that I tasted of His grace and goodness.
"It is not what you look at that matters. It is what you see." Henry David Thoreau
"Keep your eyes open"