In the post titled A change of Life, A most comforting Eulogy I shared how our daughter, Holly, in the death of her earthly body, has been given the opportunity to say, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 38:4) I hope it left you with a desire to say this as well.
I promised to follow with a short post on how to begin to taste and see that the Lord is good. This I found was not an easy task. I tried to describe the path laid out in the Bible, supported with text and verse. It may have been theologically correct but rather than tasting good is seemed more like sawdust. So, what do I say? In spite of the sadness, Holly seemed to keep her sights on the goodness of God. Holly encouraged us to accept the path that the Lord had for her. She hoped for a long time with Jeff and Mateo but she also said, early on in her illness, that the Lord does not make mistakes. During this time, the word of God played a vital role in preparing the table before us. The author to the Hebrews says, “the Word of God is living and powerful” and that it understands what is going on in our hearts. (Hebrews 4:12-13) If I allow myself time to read it, it is like the Lord knows my thoughts and is speaking directly to me. Sometimes the words are comforting like a “still small voice” saying, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” At others times the words are cutting like “a sharp two edged sword.” They mold and shape like the hands of a potter molding and shaping a lump of clay, shoring us up when It feels like we are going to fall apart. The words show us “the path of life,” where”at the Lord’s right hand there are pleasures forever more.” When we think that we have something great to say, the words punch us down and humble our pride. Yet, those who persist with God’s word, do experience God in a living and powerful way that gives one a taste of His goodness.
Those who knew Holly experienced the goodness of God, through her. Holly had tasted it. How so? You wonder. Holly did not choose her family, anymore than any of us get to choose the family we are born into. God placed her in a family with struggles and sin. To mold her, God provided her with a somewhat critical father who struggles with faith. He blessed her with a mother who worried about losing a child and yet displays a steadfast simple faith, trusting that God really does work all things together for her good. (Romans 8:28) In His grace, the Lord placed Holly in a family where she was taken to church and where His word was read. He told her to, “Trust in the Lord with all of her heart and lean not on her own understanding and He would direct her path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) He taught her to hide His word in her heart. (Psalm 119:11) Holly spent time drinking from God’s word. I know this to be the case because His word flowed out of her. She gave others many notes of encouragement and usually included a text from the bible. She also desired to read the word of God, even in her teens. It must have tasted good. Knowing this bought comfort to those near her, as Holly’s health failed.
Her bible was thick from use and full of notes. Seeing this, when she was leaving home to join Jeff in marriage, brought joy to my heart.
You may think that Holly seems like a saint. In a sense she was. But she was not a saint in the sense of being perfect. I can remember stubborn battles as I tried to help her with her mathematics. But there is no doubt that God, in His grace, showed Himself to her. Like all people who have come to truly know God, Holly also learned about herself. Holly grew to see that she that was a sinner deserving of God’s eternal punishment. She came to understand that she needed cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ, just as much as everyone else. She tasted of the ultimate expression of God’s love, and came to know that God sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to dwell among us, that Jesus willingly to took the punishment we deserve. I’m sure this was a feast for Holly. She tasted and saw that the Lord is good. Now she can sit and feast on the goodness of God at His banqueting table forevermore.
So, how do you taste and see the Lord is good? Holly’s examples says, draw near to the watering trough of God’s Word and drink of this living water. Read it. Listen to it preached. Memorize it. Study it. Meditate upon it. And ask God to help you to taste it.
The following post contains some thoughts on grief.