Thanksgiving confession: I’ve never cooked a turkey. I’m ashamed to tell you that, but, each year, when the family sign-up list goes around for who’s bringing what, I just pretend I don’t see that blank spot on the page.
However, I do make a mean Sweet Potato Casserole! I’m talkin’ the kind with pecans and carmelized brown sugar on top. And I don’t mind saying, I’ve had my share of enthusiastic raves every time I make it. You could say I’m known for it. (At least in my mind.)
So when my three nephews were old enough to talk and eat real food, I couldn’t wait to introduce them to my Famous Sweet Potato Casserole. Each Thanksgiving, I lovingly prepared the dish. Did I used canned sweet potatoes? Oh, no. Only fresh would do.
The first year, my oldest nephew stared mournfully at his plate. He tearfully asked his parents, “Do I have to eat that?” They whispered, “Your Aunt Connie made this for you. Just try a little bit.”
“You’ll like it!”, I coaxed. He wasn’t buying it for a minute. ”It looks like baby poop”, he announced flatly.
The next Thanksgiving, I made my dish with eager anticipation.
They were too little to know how good it is, I chucked confidently to myself. This year, they’re gonna LOVE it!
They cried and gagged without even tasting it. Next Thanksgiving, I said to myself.
I’m not marketing this right, I thought. The next year I said, “It’s practically dessert! You LOVE dessert!” The look on their faces told the awful truth. This would not be the year.
As they grew older and their social skills developed, their protests became more sophisticated. ”Oh, Aunt Connie, it looks delicious, but I’m afraid I’ve loaded my plate with soooo much turkey and dressing that I don’t have room for the casserole.”
At least they didn’t call it baby poop.
I knew that if they would only taste it, they would love it.
Then, one magical year, a Thanksgiving Miracle occurred! My middle nephew scooped a spoonful onto his plate.
Quietly, I gasped. EUREKA! I tried to be cool. ”How is it?”, I asked, looking out the window, like I didn’t care.
“This is like….dessert!”, he exclaimed.
REALLY? IS IT LIKE DESSERT? CAUSE I’VE BEEN TELLING YOU THAT FOR FIVE YEARS. JUST SAYIN’.
“May I have some more?”
Oh, the sweetness of that moment!
And then it hit me.
How many times has God called to me…invited me…implored me…to taste of His goodness? Yet, I thought I knew best…and had my well rehearsed excuses ready.
“I’m so busy, God. When things settle down, I’ll spend time with you.”
“I want to do things my way, God.”
“There was that time that I prayed, but things didn’t turn out like I’d planned. You hurt my feelings, God. I’m not sure I even want to spend time with you.”
Yet, He waits. Patiently. Lovingly. Knowing that He is the answer to every situation, every need, and every problem that baffles us.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good”, He beckons (Psalm 43:8).
Have you tasted of His goodness? Or do you feel like an outsider? “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). Put a toe in the water. Ask Him to show you Himself. Taste and See.
Have you known His goodness, but are now far away, like the Prodigal? Experience His gracious forgiveness and cleansing as you confess your ways to Him (1 John 1:9). Taste and See.
Are you struggling with grief or disappointment? Bring your sorrow to Him and find that He is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). Taste and See.
Are you serving Him with all your might, but are feeling weary and burned out? Ask Him to renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). Taste and See.
This Thanksgiving, may you experience the joy of tasting and seeing that the Lord is indeed good!