What’s Taste Got to Do With It?

In my growing up years, there were certain household rules that we children were expected to follow. They were rules made by Mom and Dad with the good of the family in mind. However, some of them really didn’t make any sense to us as children. For example, Mom’s unchanging rule of “you have to eat a little bit of everything that is served at mealtimes.”

You Are Made to Grow.

Now most times that presented no problem because Mom was a fabulous cook. But there was one thing she sometimes served that did present a problem. At least it did for me, because I just couldn’t eat it without gagging. Spinach was its name and slick and slimy was its game. Meals with spinach became a time of intense suffering for me. I couldn’t stand the taste of it and just the thought of having to put it in my mouth made me sick.

The Goal is Growth, Grace is the soil.

Mealtimes with spinach became a battle of the wills between Mom and me. Another one of her rules was that until we had eaten every thing on our plate, we weren’t allowed to leave the table. Many times, after everyone else had left the table and Mom was doing dishes, I was still sitting there trying to force that spinach down my throat. I remember her saying to me, ” Eat it, it’s filled with vitamins and nutrition. Your body needs it. It will help you to grow.” At the time, she failed to convince me of the truth of those words. In my childish thinking, anything that looked and tasted so bad could not possibly be good for me, no matter how many minerals or vitamins it contained. I thought the logical place for it was the garbage can, but Mom’s presence kept that from happening.

The End of Life is not happiness, but growth in character and achievement

In the years that followed, I learned that Mom was right. Spinach  was good for me. I did need its nutrients. And it did help me to grow. Amazingly enough, because of Mom’s  persistent insistence that I eat my spinach, I eventually did learn to eat it with gagging on it.

I’ve noticed from the way Christ works in my life, that the Heavenly Father promotes growth in His children in much the same manner as a mother does in hers. The goal of both is to produce strong healthy growing children. She wants hers to grow physically. Father God wants His to grow spiritually. To accomplish this, both know that sometimes it requires us  as children to be served in life, something we might not like – but we need. Something we’d rather not have to taste    – but we must. When it’s served to us we want to push it from us saying, “I know I’m not going to like this. It’s going to be a problem to me. I don’t want it. Take it away.” But Father God says, “I know you don’t want it. I know it’s going to be a problem to you. But it’s good for you. It’s something you need. It will help you to grow spiritually.

Many people think that when problems are served up in their life, that God is mad at them, or perhaps He has abandoned them. They think they must be out of His will or those things wouldn’t be happening to them. But that’s not necessarily so. Many times the problems we are encountering  are a part of God’s will for out lives at the moment.

I Peter 4:12-13, (The Message) “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the thick of what Christ experienced. This is the spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.” 

Sometimes it is within the will of God for us to experience problems in our life. In the Scripture, God hasn’t revealed everything we would like to know on the subject of problems, but He does have valid reasons for allowing problems to be served up in the lives of His children. We may not understand His reasons as we are working out way through them, but we do afterwards. When He allows them, it’s always to promote our  spiritual growth. It’s always to enlarge us. It’s always for our good.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. To them who are called according to His purpose.” 

Here’s a personal word to you. If you are facing some unexpected problem that has suddenly popped up in your life – if you are tempted to question God because all of a sudden life is not making sense because everything seems to be against you and you don’t understand what is happening and you’re wondering where God is in all of this – take – heart – look up.  God is at work in your life behind the scenes leading, directing and molding your life and He’s using these problems to do it.

If you are encountering struggles, hardships, obstacles and problems in your life, remember this,  in God’s economy:

  • It is the struggles that makes a person strong.
  • It’s the obstacles that provides a person with the greatest opportunity to excel.
  • It’s the problems that develop and direct us.
  • It’s the hardships that makes a person an overcomer.

Andre Crouch wrote about this in his song entitled Through it All.

I’ve had many tears and sorrows
I’ve had questions for tomorrow
There have been times I didn’t know right from wrong.
But in every situation  – God gave blessed consolation
That my trials come only to make me strong.

I thank God for the mountains
I thank Him for the valleys
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem
I wouldn’t know that He could solve them
I’d never know what faith in God can do.

Through it all — through it all
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all — through it all
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.

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Pastor Bill