Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Taste (07/15/10)
TITLE: Life Tasted
By Betty Farrow
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I had convinced her to give me this interview by telling her that my future depended on it. With graduation just around the corner, my assignment and final grade—a character sketch—could lead to a job on a well known magazine. “Exactly what do you want to know child? I’m really not much to write about,” Hattie said. I told her I wanted to know her secret for trusting God. I wanted to learn how she had come to know the Lord as intimately as she appeared to know Him.
Hattie settled back in her rocker and gazed at the cookies on the plate in front of us. Then she looked at me and with a faint smile she began her story. “The first time I helped mama bake chocolate cookies I couldn’t wait to taste the chocolate so I sneaked a bite of cocoa powder. Ugh, it was bitter! I spit and wiped my tongue trying to get that taste out of my mouth. I told mama we couldn’t use the cocoa, it would ruin the cookies. She assured me that we would not notice the bitter taste when we mixed the chocolate with the other ingredients, just the sweet taste of the cookie.”
Hattie shared how her life had been like the cookies, full of ingredients including some that tasted bitter. She continued, “When I was a young wife and mother, I tasted death. It was the worst kind of bitter taste that one could imagine. My beloved husband was taken away unexpectedly, cancer. There wasn’t anything the doctors could do back then. My companion and best friend of 15 years was gone and I was left with five children to raise by myself. I wanted to die too. I tasted anger and bitterness toward God. No matter how hard I tried to spit out the bitter taste, I couldn’t make it go away. I believed my life was over, never to be sweet again.
One night, in despair and desperation, I picked up God’s word and read where He was a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows. I finally realized that God had not left me nor had He forsaken me. Once again I tasted peace. I remembered that Jesus came to bring me abundant life. Was I ready to trust Him with it? I had trusted Him with my eternity, but what about my life?
I’ve spent the rest of my life learning how to have a victorious walk with God; learning to trust Him.” Hattie laughed and added, “didn’t mean my life was easy after that. I continued to taste times of grief and sorrow. Remember, I raised five children. I’ve tasted the salty tears of failure and I’ve tasted success. I tasted loneliness when the chair next to me was empty. I tasted happiness when my family surrounded me. I tasted a heavy heart when my oldest son went to war and I tasted relief when he returned home, safe and unharmed. Through it all I’ve tasted God’s presence in my life.
I was able to taste all of these things because I tasted love, not Jonathan’s love but the love of God. He became my daily companion. His word became my guide, my recipe book if you will. I still read and meditate on it,” Hattie paused and reached for a cookie. Just before she took a bite, she looked at me and said, “It takes all of the ingredients to make a cookie taste good and I love cookies, but nothing is sweeter than God’s word.” Then she quoted Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”
I left that day with a clearer understanding of Hattie and a deeper desire to spend time tasting the Word of God.
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