The goodness of God is not only an attribute of God but a foundational truth every Christian should embrace. Many of us who check the news everyday may be dismayed to see all sorts of bad and unpleasant things happening around the world. With all the bad news circulating around us, we sometimes get caught up with negativity around us and are threatened to draw away from God. Therefore, it is important for us to learn to detect the movement of God and see the goodness of God in everything, everywhere.
Tasting God’s goodness
For a long time during my childhood I did not like chingit (michingi patta), and I never even intended to try it. I didn’t like it mainly because of its look and smell. It has sharp conical thorns or spines on the red-brown stems and trunk, and even the leaves have spines on them! Furthermore, chingit has a strong odour and, for me, it smells like the bed bugs! However, my father kept on insisting me to taste it. It was like “Taste and see that chingit was good.” So, I tried it. Strangely and unexpectedly, with the first taste I started liking it! And now, chingit has become one of my most favourite Mizo bai (cuisine).
When the Psalmist says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” he is not talking about ‘testing God.’ But he is talking about “tasting God’s goodness.” To ‘taste’ here is literally to perceive by experiencing. It involves a conscious decision to be involved, to experience it by yourself, to be in it so that you would see how good the Lord is. It is a kind of what they call ‘acquired taste’ – you only like them after you have become familiar with the taste. In this verse, ‘taste and see’ does not mean that we are to check God’s credentials, but rather it is a warm invitation to “Try this; I know you will like it.”
Finding God in a world of ‘busy-ness’
We are living in a world of “busy-ness” – busy people, busy streets, busy telephone line, busy traffic, and so on. We are so busy with our jobs, our studies, our families, our social and ecclesiastical responsibilities that we often forget to think about God, about God’s goodness that always surrounds us. Everyone seems to be busy with our own interest, living in our own comfort zone without looking for God who is always around us. This has often been the reason why we cannot find God and his goodness in certain areas and occasions in our lives.
John S. Dunne tells of early Spanish sailors who reached the continent of South America after a tiring and difficult voyage. They sailed into the headwaters of the Amazon, an expanse of water so wide the sailors presumed it to be a continuation of the Atlantic Ocean. They did not even try to drink the water, since they expected it to be saline, and as a result, some of these sailors died of thirst. These men died of thirst because they did not know that their ship floated on the world’s largest source of fresh water! Likewise, some people starve to death spiritually while plenty of things are in store all around them. One important thing here is that we only need to look for traces of God everywhere.
There are people who could not see God’s goodness because they have not tried it. Meanwhile, there are people who always praise and thank God because they recognize the goodness of God in everything they see and meet. The only difference is whether one has a heart to find and see signs of God’s presence in every time of his/her life.
How big is your God?
In order to see the goodness of God, we need to remember how massive God is. King Solomon makes an amazing statement in I Kings 8:27: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you.” Have you ever wondered how big our God is? The question may sound, at first, like a childish question. But it is also a question that philosophers deal with while trying to grasp the existence
and nature of God. The fact is, it is not possible to define God by human standards of size and measurement. The following illustration might give you a better perspective of this age-old question.
A boy once asked his father, “What is the size of God?” Then the father looked up at the sky and saw a plane and asked his son, “What is the size of the plane?” The boy replied, “It is very small. I can hardly see it.” Then the father took him to the airport. As they approached a plane, the father asked his son, “How big is the plane now?” “Wow Dad, it’s huge!” he yelled. Then the father told him, “God’s size depends on how close or far you are from God. The closer you are to God, the greater and greater God will be in your life.”
Let us remember that when it seems like God is far away, God is not the one that moved. It is we who move away from God. The Bible tells us that God is not far from each one of us, God places us where we are so that we would search and find God (Acts 17:27-28). Let us, therefore, share the conviction of the Psalmist who says, “But for me it is good to be near God” (Psalm 73:28).
We must trust that every breath, every day of our life is in the precious hands of God, who is all- good, all-powerful, and all-merciful toward us. It is only when we taste and see God’s goodness that we will be able to rejoice in the Lord always and serve God with gladness.
BSI, Aizawl Auxiliary