Taste and See That The Lord is Good

Jessie Benton is the RUF Intern at The University of Vermont

Psalm 34:8 reads, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes Refuge in Him.”

This past month, I made a life changing discovery. Well, I didn’t exactly make it, rather I was introduced to it.  Vermont is the proud owner of the Creemee. If you’ve never had a Creemee, you may be skeptical, as I was, because it looks just like soft serve ice cream. But it is not just ice cream.

A Creemee is a rich soft serve made with a higher butter-fat content and unbelievably fresh ingredients. The decadent cream, bold flavors and smooth texture of the dessert melt in your mouth. It was one of those moments in life when you think, “How have I truly lived before experiencing this?” The only reasonable conclusion? I haven’t been. 

As I was having my own silly ice cream revelation, I felt the Lord nudging my heart. I was being shown a beautiful picture of the goodness of our Father. In a figuratively and literally sweet way, I was being given a picture of his goodness and a reminder that my ideas for what’s best in my life are dull in comparison to His. 

My transition into the RUF Intern position has offered a reminder of both the Lord’s invitation to taste and see his goodness, and his call in the Psalm to take refuge in him. Not only is God good, and generous with His goodness, but we are invited, called even, to rest in Him. 

He is the creator of the mountains that I love to climb. The artist who paints the leaves for the show stopping New England fall. The author of the taste and smell that allows us to enjoy incredible foods, like the Vermont Creemee. Yet, it is so easy for me to ignore the gift of rest. Or possibly worse, to rest in my own work. 

In our brokenness, our need to control outcomes, our desire for security, or the urge to prove ourselves to one another, we ignore the call to take refuge in Him and diminish in our minds the truth that He is at work. Or at least, I do.

 I’ll say to myself, “God is at work, but thank goodness I’m helping.” Are you catching on to the hypocrisy? Me too. 

Of course there is Biblical backing for doing good works. Jesus spent his earthly ministry serving others. We are called to love one another, share the gospel with our neighbors and global community, and act with integrity and hearts of service. We are told to care for the poor, clothe the naked and provide water for the thirsty. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus reminds us,  “…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,  you did it to me.” In fact, in serving “the least of these,” Jesus reminds that we are serving Him. Good works aren’t the problem, but resting in our works instead of recognizing our depravity and resting in Christ’s amazing grace is a problem. Our works don’t equal our salvation. Only Christ’s perfect sacrifice could bridge that gap. 

The truth of grace is beautiful and the call to rest is a fulfillment of Christ’s design for our lives. It’s not Jesus plus my good works, Jesus plus my role in ministry, or Jesus plus my relationships. It’s Jesus plus absolutely nothing I can or ever will be able to do. He was and is and will forever be enough. And the fruit of believing that, believing that God is at work and that His plan is perfect, is a willingness to rest.

We halt our work, worship in community, hike a new trail, or play a board game with a friend. We enjoy our Sabbath, knowing God is at work, and his work is not dependent on ours. He has the master plan, and it’s fantastic. He knows where to find the best ice cream and he’s saying, “Come on, try it. You don’t know what you’re missing, but I am going to show you.”

We serve a faithful father. He invites us to do his good work but he does not define us by it, and he calls us to come home at the end of the day. He says to us, his daughters and sons, “Taste and see that I am good! Blessed is the man who takes Refuge in Me.”