I cooked Asian food with the boy not long ago and as we read ingredients written in foreign languages and smelled smells our noses weren’t accustomed to, I doubted the success our meal.
Once a giant mess had been made and everything was cooked and served steaming hot on porcelain plates, we took bites with chopsticks and tried to get more food in our mouths than out.
Some bites were wonderful. Some were tolerable. Others were so bad I couldn’t swallow. Some bites I wanted more of- others I never wanted to taste again.
A year ago I was tasting bites I would have never wanted to taste again. I was fighting and chewing and squirming through deep valleys and thick pain and it was hard for me to remember a time when the bites weren’t bad.
Six months ago the bites became tolerable- or maybe I decided to stop fighting so hard to spit them out. Either way, I started learning that in every bite, with each taste, He is unfolding mysteries around me and making them perfect in due time.
One month ago, I took my last bite of the food I had been living off of for a year. I didn’t savor it- I swallowed hard and sang hallelujah when I saw that my plate was clear. Soon, a new plate was brought before me and, so far, I’ve enjoyed every bite.
But I’ve come to a place where I’d like to re-taste some of the hard bites of the past year. I don’t miss the pain and the hurt and the doubt. I don’t miss the anger and the depression and the confusion. I don’t miss any of it.
What I want to taste twice is the peace that held me together when I was sure I would break. What I want to experience again is the surge of hope I felt every morning when my heart awoke to new mercies. What I want to never forget is that in every moment, He was truly making everything work for my good, because He loves me.
I write and retaste and my heart says, “oh, so that’s what He was doing!”
He makes all things work for the good of those who love Him. The good works He begins in us, he will carry out to the day of completion. If even one sheep goes astray, will He not leave the ninety-nine and run after him?
So I will say thank you. I will say thank you and I will retaste the moments I don’t understand and the moments I want to relive over and over again. I will cherish the moments where laughter is easy and love grows wild. I will search hard in the seasons of difficulty for the promises He has given me that the waters will not sweep over me and he will be to me a wall of fire in my midst.
I will write and I will read and I will taste and retaste and see that He is good.