Jesus says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:11-13 NIV)! God WANTS good things for us. He wants to bless us abundantly. He wants us to have good things to eat and drink, but more importantly, He wants us to feed on his word and be nourished by it.
Today I had a day where good things happened. Not every day goes like this, but when good things happen, I know that they are gifts from God. I thank him for the gifts. These little things that happen during our better days, are just a tiny taste of how God wants to bless us. He also wants to bless us through our trials, and He does. One day there will be no more pain, and no more tears. But for now, God wants to speak to us and be close to us through our sweet times and our sour times.
God speaks to us through people, signs, and dreams. He also speaks to us through His wonderful book, the Holy Bible, which fills us up with good words. In Proverbs, King Solomon wrote: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24 NIV). Chocolate is yummy to eat, but the bible says pleasant words are sweet, and that they have the ability to heal! What if you love chocolate, or another favorite treat, but you can’t have sugar? If that sweet hurts your body, it’s no longer a good gift for you. But God’s gifts are always good. If every time you wish for chocolate, and instead go and read your bible, you will be fulfilled by something sweeter; the words of God. Then you can share those delicious words with friends.
Recently while thinking of my pastor, who survived a stroke, and was diagnosed with diabetes, I thought about the difficulty of new diets that come with a life change. We’ve experienced it in my own family, as we’ve developed new allergens to foods previously enjoyed. My son lives each day with an esophageal disease, which prevents him from eating many foods, and requires careful monitoring of food ingredients for safety. Many people cannot have sugar, or must be extremely careful of their intake. But the good news is, that with God’s word, we don’t have to worry about overdoing it. In fact, we can partake of it as much as we desire, and there are no calories!
It’s a joy to eat a meal and have dessert with our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. It’s a delightful blessing. But if we really want to be blessed, we can sweeten our taste buds with God’s word. In the book of Luke, Jesus tells us this himself; “While Jesus was still talking, a woman in the crowd spoke up, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it’” (Luke 11:27-28 NIV).
Obeying God’s message, means taking it to heart, and living it out. If God’s words are sweet to us, they will be sweet to others. We should live as Jesus does, and share sweet words of encouragement with our family and friends. Sometimes sweets go bad. A cake left out too long can get moldy or dry, and it is no longer good to eat. Our words can leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth. They can sting like vinegar or become stale to other people’s ears. As Proverbs states: “A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day” (Proverbs 27:15 NIV); and who wants to eat soggy rhubarb pie?
Instead we can follow the advice given in Colossians: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6). Salt brings out the flavor of foods, including desserts. Salty caramel mocha is now one of my favorites, whether it’s flavored coffee or ice cream!
Let’s remember that Jesus’ love is sweeter than chocolate, so it’s a wonderful treat to walk with him daily. Take him with you wherever you go. Cry out to him when you’re hurting. Reach out to him during your trials. Thank him when you’re grateful, and thank him during the difficult times too. Praise God when He gives you a good gift. Use your senses He has given you. Listen when He calls your name. Touch others by letting them know how God’s son, Jesus, has touched you. Stop and smell the roses. Rest in the little gifts God is giving you throughout the day. And finally: Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8… NIV)!
© 2014 Angela Royse Pelleman – The Silver Lining