A few days ago, my mom invited my wife, Donna, and me to have lunch with her, my dad, and my sister, DeAnna, who was visiting for the weekend. After a scrumptious meal, mom unveiled a new dessert she tried for the first time…a white cake with real hickory nuts, topped with homemade brandy icing. Mom was concerned because the cake had “fallen” a bit in the middle, so she leveled it out by plastering even more icing in the cake’s midsection. At times, mistakes can be good things, like when the guy at 3M messed up when trying out a new formulation for glue resulting in a slightly tacky substance that let to the creation of Post-it notes. But I digress…
As we readied our forks to penetrate the half-inch thick top layer, our noses were tickled by the light brandy vapor radiating from the icing. Even the cake itself had more bulky moistness than fluff, judging from the lack of large “pores” when viewed from the side. And there were so many hickory nuts laced throughout the cake that many of them tumbled out from the freshly incised edges of each piece.
The first taste indeed met our anticipations, and then some. I said “Oh wow! This is incredible!” Dad and Donna made long, low “mmmmmmmm” sounds indicating their extreme approval. But DeAnna perfectly captured the sheer ecstasy of the moment when she exclaimed “This tastes so good it makes me weep!” You had to be there to know how appropriately her comment fit the occasion.
And to think, in my youth, I would have turned up my nose had Mom offered to me a piece of cake like this one. I did not appreciate it when perfectly soft, cakey textures were ruined by the presence of hard nuts, and I was not open to tasting anything that used flavorings based on rum, brandy, or whiskey. I didn’t like the way the “fumes” of these extracts permeated my nasal cavity. My 5 year old granddaughter, Kihryn, a true chip off the old grandfather block, will rarely taste anything new. I have tried all kinds of verbal pleadings, none of which work. Like “Try these peas. They are so good. They’re God’s candy.” Last week I went cheap and bought an off-brand box of macaroni and cheese. As we were getting ready for supper one evening I inadvertently let her see the box. When she realized it was not the Velveeta brand, we were through. She informed me she would NOT eat that “yucky stuff.”
This morning, during my devotional time, I was reading John chapter 1. In the narrative portion of the chapter is the story of Philip trying to convince Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus of Nazareth “about whom Moses and the prophets wrote.” Nathanael was not yet ready to “taste” this new teacher for himself:
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
~ John 1:43-51 ESV
It wasn’t until Nathanael experienced the power of the Lord Jesus for himself that he was ready to become a follower. This is a great example of the typical human response to anything new. We first make judgments based on our prior experiences. In our pride we refuse to believe that anything new can be added to our knowledge base. But one taste of the power of the Almighty God can change us for eternity. The “little” miracle of Jesus’ knowing and seeing Nathanael before having actually met him was enough of a demonstration of supernatural power to convince Nathanael. May we be so ready to acknowledge His greatness!
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
~ Psalm 34:8 ESV
This verse from Psalm 34 is in the middle of a list of benefits to be had by those who follow the Lord. It’s almost as if the psalmist, David, is exasperated and is pleading with those who would doubt the goodness of God extended to anyone who would but sample the delights offered from His bounty. Are you ready to taste His grace extended to you today? Are you ready to be blessed by taking refuge in Him? Jesus knows you, and he will reveal Himself to you if you will but taste and see. He truly is “so good it makes you weep!”