Daily Dose of Courage – 29 March 2020

In this season of social distancing for many, and shelter in place orders for others, as we all try to fight for faith in the face of COVID-19, I decided to share one thought a day from my daily devotional time in the hope of strengthening other’s hands in God (1 Sam 23:16), and encouraging friends forward in faith. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive an email for each new post, and feel free to come back daily and share with anyone who might find them beneficial.

I use a reading plan that has me reading a few chapters in different parts of the Scripture for every day of the week, and so each day’s content will be dictated by the required daily reading of that plan. I will focus in on one unit of thought rather than trying to address the full scope of the day’s reading. I am trusting God that He will speak from different parts of His Word, as He always does.

Enjoy.

Sunday, March 29

Reading: Psalm 33-37

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 

 — Ps 34:8.

For the first fifteen years of my life, I never ate avocado. I just never wanted to try it. It didn’t look like something that should go into my mouth. Other people raved about it, and ate it on everything, even though this was long before the days of $17 hipster avocado toasts, but I simply had no desire to taste it myself. One day, when I was at a good friend’s house, avocado toast was the only thing on the lunch menu. His mom refused to serve me anything else and it is incredible how hunger broadens our appetite into previously unknown territories.

So I tried it, and it was amazing. Sweet and yet tarty. It made the roof of my mouth tingle. I wanted more. I couldn’t believe that I had wasted fifteen pre-avocado years simply wondering what it was like. If only I had known how much more meaningful my culinary life could have been if I had included avocado in it earlier.

In Psalm 34, David says that God’s goodness is a bit like the goodness of an avocado. You have to taste it for yourself in order to get it. It is not something reserved for the spiritual elite, in fact David says that poor men get to experience it. So, while the experiences of others are important, and we learn in the faith from the experiences of others, we also get to taste of God’s goodness ourselves so that we don’t just have to take others word for it. Someone describing the taste of something to you is a poor substitute for you actually tasting it.

David goes on in the Psalm to mention some things about God that we can taste for ourselves.

He says that God listens to and watches the righteous (v15), and we get to taste that as we eagerly seek Him out in prayer. When we watch and listen to others pray, we can get an idea of a God who listens, but when we pray ourselves, we get to sense it ourselves. He promises that God ultimately delivers the righteous, in spite of troubles (v17-19), and we get to taste that when we choose to trust Him and praise Him in the most difficult of circumstances. He swears that God is close to the broken-hearted (v18), and we get to taste that when we scream out to Him in honest, anguished cries. He reminds us that God redeems His servants and doesn’t allow them to be condemned (v22), and we get to taste that in the free acceptance we experience in repentance and return even after rebellion.

In this season where we are forced into relative states of isolation, and we don’t get the benefit of the crumbs falling off the faith tables of our friends, it is a great time to lean in, in faith, and to taste and see that the Lord is good, for yourself.

Don’t take my word for it. Try Him.

Courage, dear friends.
Ross

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