“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him” Psalm 34:8
Autumn is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest! Signs of fall are evident everywhere—the freshness in the crisp cool air, the smell of fires, warm and vibrantly colored leaves beginning to fall and cover the ground. It’s that time of year again when thoughts are naturally turned towards feelings of nostalgia, holiday memories and family traditions. I love this time of year for these reasons, as well as for the opportunity to consider a season of gratitude.
Reality and Expectations Collide
Despite the warm thoughts and well-wishes, I realize that for many people this time of year can be one of great difficulty. Reality collides with unmet expectations, coupled with brokenness, hardship, suffering and loss—yet it is against this backdrop that I am poignantly reminded of our need for a Savior and the beauty He brings from our broken lives. It is a joy that can be found in hardship and a hope that comes from despair.
As we step outside of the Norman Rockwell painting into reality, we realize that we each have struggles. I believe it is in understanding the one true reality of who Christ is that allows our hearts to turn towards thankfulness in these seasons. How can we give thanks when facing the death of a loved one ... the betrayal of a close friend … the suffering of a chronic illness … the weight of financial difficulties … the chaos of a family crisis? When hope disintegrates into despair, leaving us depressed and dissatisfied it is often hard to trust in the reality that God is good.
Taste and See
The psalmist declares in Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.” Oasis or dessert, victory or defeat, hope or despair … as we take time to “taste and see” we find indeed that God is faithful and He is good! There is a confidence that comes in knowing Him … a freedom beyond financial and political security. It is the presence of His peace amidst life’s greatest storms. It is a confidence that though we cannot see the future, we can rest in the fact that it is in the hands of a gracious, loving and all powerful God.
My prayer for us today is that God would renew our reality in light of this truth, that He would show us more clearly who He is, with a sure understanding of His goodness. As we grow in our trust in Him, may we become more certain of His character. May He steady us in His grace, ground us in His goodness, and give us renewed hope so that no matter where life circumstances may find us, with confidence we can say He is constant. He is faithful. He is good! And as we walk in the reality of this truth, may our lives be warm and vibrant as we display hearts of thankfulness in this season!
Trusting in His goodness,
Michelle M. Peel, BA’00, MA’10
Director of Alumni Relations
Multnomah University - Multnomah Bible College, Biblical Seminary and Graduate School