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Women of the Advent | May 3, 2024

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8, NIV)

I have seen this verse in kitchens and on coffee mugs for as long as I can remember. Over the last few months, specifically starting with Lent, I have asked the Lord to bring this verse into my daily life and make it new to me every day.

Right after my 20th birthday and at the start of my sophomore year of college, I was diagnosed with three autoimmune disorders. Though none of them are life-threatening (praise God!), they are life-altering. For the last four and a half years, I have allowed my mind to be consumed with thoughts about what I was eating and how it was affecting my health. Over the last several months, the Lord revealed how much this mindset was consuming me.

While listening to a podcast by Jess Connolly, I was instantly convicted of my thoughts about what food I was eating and how I viewed my body. Jess’s proclamation that God calls both food and our bodies GOOD, because he is GOOD, left me humbly coming to his feet with my struggle to believe in this goodness. Up to that point, I viewed all food as either “safe” or as contributing to my demise, and viewed my body as something I was trying to control through nutrition and exercise. Though healthy living is a great aspiration, I saw what an extreme position of control I was assuming — never calling myself or my food good, even though the King of the Universe continues to do so.

This Lent, I asked the Lord to reveal his promise in this simple verse:  “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”These words remind us that we do not have any control but are recipients of the Lord’s goodness. Praise God! He wants to bless us! Even more so, he wants to provide for us in the most uncomfortable and vulnerable areas of our lives. How do we respond to this promise? The second part of the verse answers that for us — we are supposed to take “refuge” in him. Hear that relinquishment of control? We’re supposed to submit to him. What is the reward for this submission? Blessings!

Restructuring our thoughts requires a daily surrender to God. As I am learning to claim my body and food as GOOD, I am so grateful for his kindness in growing me to trust him again in this way. I’m finally open to receive his blessings — what freedom!

The Message Bible translates Psalm 34:8 to say: “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see — how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.”

I want to challenge you to be OPEN to thinking about the things in your life that God has called GOOD but that you feel the need to either 1) make them “good” by your own doing, or 2) refuse to believe that God would ever call something like “that” good. I pray that, once you do allow his goodness to restructure your thoughts, you will take refuge in him and experience his blessing.

— Caroline Daw

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