Well, Cole is grandson number five, so after watching three daughters and four grandsons nose-dive (with grandson number three, that was literally) into their first birthday cakes, I had great expectations for this little guy. But lo and behold, Cole's reaction to his cake was the direct opposite of those who'd celebrated before him. His mommy put the cake in front of him, we all sang, then she encouraged, "Go ahead, Cole. Eat it." He tentatively placed one finger in the icing. Carried it to his mouth. But before he tasted it, he shook his head, made a terrible scowl, and pushed the cake away.
To our amusement and confusion, Cole repeatedly pushed the cake away, slapped it, smeared frosting everywhere....but refused to put so much as a morsel in his mouth. His mommy assured him, "It'll be good, Cole," but he wasn't trusting it. He'd never seen such a thing before, and that made it suspect. He was willing to play with it, but taste it? Huh-uh.
We laughed just as hard at his puzzling antics as we had the other grandkids' enthusiastic consumption of their little cakes, but even so it was a tad disappointing. Watching hesitance isn't as fun as witnessing delightful exploration. I'm convinced if Cole would have given the cake a tiny taste, he would have discovered it was sweet on his tongue. But he wouldn't try, despite his mommy's assurances that he'd like it.
While watching Cole, a Bible verse from Psalm 34 (beginning of verse 8) ran through my head: "Taste and see that the LORD is good." I wonder if sometimes we respond to God in a similar fashion. He brings things into our lives--new opportunities, people who challenge us, chances to grow--and we push them aside with the idea that it's too messy, too inconvenient, too frightening to go where He leads. I know for many years I held back from going where God directed out of a fear of failure. How my refusal must have made God's heart ache. I can imagine Him thinking, "Kim, I have something so special waiting for you. Just taste. Trust Me..." What pleasures did I deny myself out of my misguided sense of inferiority? More importantly, how many opportunities to glorify Him did I waste?
James 1:17 tells us, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Our God is unchanging--always loving, full of compassion, the maker of good plans for His children. Whatever He offers us is for our good and potentially His glory...but we have to be willing to embrace the gift, employ the gift. When we do, we show that we trust the Giver.
I know Cole loves and trusts his mommy. His apprehension in the face of that cake really had more to do with the strange food than the one who offered it to him, but that didn't keep his mommy from feeling disappointed. She'd planned something good and special for her "little man," and he refused it. I hope I can keep from disappointing my Father-God by refusing to sample the new experiences He brings into my life. I want my life--and all of my actions--to reflect total trust in the God who loves me.
Is God holding out something new and different for you to sample? Are you trapped in hesitation, finger hovering but not quite connecting? Go ahead and plunge in. Initially, it might be sticky, but in the end you'll discover a sweet goodness that will bring you pleasure. After all, our Father gives GOOD gifts. So trust Him--taste and see!