Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Ps 34.8
On one of our holidays in Tenerife some years ago we decided to take two people from our congregation with us who wouldn’t normally get a special holiday away. One of the ladies we took had never flown before and never gone to a foreign country. It was a real challenge for her, but she overcame her fear of flying and thoroughly enjoyed the time. One of the new things she tried out was the different food on offer. You may be surprised but this lady had never eaten bananas before. The bananas in Tenerife are much smaller and sweeter and much tastier than those that arrive in the UK. We persuaded her to have a go at trying them and she did. She loved the taste and now has bananas as a regular part of her diet.
It is amazing that this lady had reached her 70s and never tried them. People often have this response when faced with Jesus. Many people will just not try to take the step of following him and receiving his forgiveness and new life. If only they would taste and see, it would transform their lives.
On Saturday Cathie Jones from Iris Ministries, spent the day with us to help us to discover ways that we communicate, unpacking each of the different life languages. One of the special moments for me was when she told us about working with corporate groups who needed help in team building. At the end of each teaching session on one of the life languages she normally asks all those who have this way of communicating to stand up so that she can pray for them. Of course, she could not pray in a corporate setting, so instead she told them to stand, then read out affirmations over them. One of the companies wrote back to say that everyone agreed that this had been the favourite part of their day. To have someone speaking out words of approval and encouragement was something they were not used to and made them feel approved and affirmed.
I realised that this is something that we often enjoy as Christians and is part of our culture. We have people who will stand with us and pray with us. People from the church will care about what is going on in our lives and will be praying for us. We may not see the answer immediately, but we will not be facing things alone and often answers will come. We are tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.
I believe we can be confident in encouraging people to see the blessings of knowing Jesus in answering prayer as well as finding a purpose for their lives and forgiveness for the past. Just as we managed to persuade one person to try eating bananas for the first time, we can have a go at persuading people ‘to taste and see that the Lord is good.’