I bring you the real time version of the Friday email. This week heralds the first big run of our spring maple season and I am attempting to write on my phone while boiling.
[Insert explosion of maple syrup here as my barrel overflow control forgets it’s job and pops out of the bung hole. Ten minutes of cleaning later ….)
I am distracted by a ton of different noises and deadlines and machines. What to write about. An idea comes to mind. Our businesses theme verse.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
That verse was also the main verse I used in my testimony when I graduated from Bible school.
Until more recently I thought of the verse in terms of the sweet things of life. Amazing experiences of growing closer to God in the context of Bible school. Seeing His hand at work in miracles and answers to prayer. In the joys and blessings that abound in this life, like maple syrup.
[Checking a tank, a pump, the evaporator, the reverse osmosis machine, switching barrels.]
It’s an easy verse to understand when all is going according to plan. When life tastes sweet.
Not so easy when life brings along things that can only be described as bitter. This year has had its share of discouragement. Seems like one thing after another goes wrong. Not little things, big things. And some of them were brought about by choices based in sacrifice and love. How can this be?
Life was supposed to be different, God, remember? Funny how I can laugh at myself for admitting how I feel but also feel the hurt as real at the same time. I know it’s not the final chapter but it’s hard to even see the next page.
Every bitter thing is sweet. It’s easy to say before and after hard things. But the choice of faith comes in the “messy middle,” to quote a dear teacher from Bible School.
[Labeling barrels of syrup. Amber, with delicious vanilla notes. Yum! Best of the season so far.]
A coffee coaster sits on my desk at home and reminds me, “The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, and find the rock beneath” (John Greenleaf Whittier).
Faith declares the rock exists. That God is good in spite of bitter things. That all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. There may be other hardships in store. It might be years before I see the why of everything. Or maybe never. Perhaps the in between time is the duration of this life.
But when I see Jesus all the questions will melt away and the Rock will be there with outstretched arms to meet me.
These moments, months or years come to us all. His goodness applies to it all.
In sweet things and bitter: “O taste and see that the Lord is good,” for “His love endures forever.”
Trusting in the Rock Beneath.