Three days ago I awoke with a scratchy throat…
Two days ago my 6 am wake-up call was accompanied by a runny nose and a sore throat…
Yesterday the sinus pressure built to epic proportions (okay, admittedly, epic is quite the overstatement)…
Today I was hit with the trifecta: sore throat, stuffy sinuses and an on-again, off-again runny nose…
But what really got to me was the loss of my sense of taste.Ripe, delicious fruit was reduced to cold, squishy mush with a slight bitter aftertaste…
My coffee was nice and hot but there was only a slight hint of the sweetness of my beloved coffee creamer and none of its vanilla-caramel creaminess…
Oh the joys of the “summer cold”.
Have you ever had one of those colds that hit you so hard, takes your sense of smell away and therefore your sense of taste as well? If so, there is a good chance you can empathize with me. Not only was this cold bothersome to my breathing, painful to my throat, ears and sinuses, but it interrupted my ability to properly experience my food.
At one point today I wondered, “What is the point of eating if I can’t taste it anyway?!”
But then I was so hungry I ate even though I couldn’t taste. And let me just say that it wasn’t a satisfying experience… I knew the food should taste good. I had eaten it before and it was tasty. Other people were eating right now and enjoying it. But not me.
Then something glorious happened… a teeny, tiny hint of flavor broke through and my taste buds went crazy and I did a happy dance. I savored that rare, short-lived moment.
And then the spiritual lesson of it all hit me.
Sometimes in our lives we come to a place where we “can’t feel God.” Where it just isn’t all the same as it was before… it isn’t as good, God doesn’t seem as close, we can’t seem to live our faith like we used to do! We go to church, read the Bible, pray, sing worship songs… but something is missing. We wonder: what is the point when it seems (almost) like God isn’t there?
The dulling of my sense of taste was caused by a virus… Yet, a cold isn’t the only thing that can cause a diminishing of our sense of taste.
Ever burn your tongue on a hot drink and then food doesn’t have the flavor it ought?
What about when you eat REALLY spicy food and then nothing tastes right?
Or, how about when you eat the same thing so often that it no longer tastes good.
How does it get better? Well, with my cold, my body needs time to heal, extra rest, plenty of fluids and good nutrition to fight this cold and restore things to proper functioning.
When I burn my tongue I often have to let time do its job and wait for my damaged taste buds to heal.
And when I overindulge or eat over-powering things I have to make different, better choices in foods while I recover proper taste sensitivity.
(And, for me, the spiritual light bulb moment here is so bright the light bulb is almost exploding!)
When my senses are dulled and I can’t taste my food it doesn’t mean that my food doesn’t exist or that I should give up even trying to eat. And when I “can’t feel God” it isn’t because God has left, it isn’t because God never existed in the first place, I shouldn’t just give up on this whole God thing…
There are times when my relationship with God doesn’t “feel” the same because my sensitivity to His presence has been dulled, damaged or desensitized.
So what do I need to do?
If it is sin that stands in the way of my relationship with God I need to confess my sin and know he is faithful to forgive my sins and cleanse me!
When I have allowed other things to fill my mind I need to ask God to restore in me the joy of my salvation and renew a right spirit within me, allowing God to transform my mind.
I need to savor the moments when the Lord’s presence is near…
Continue to pray, study the Bible, join in worship and fellowship with other believers…
because, just like I NEED to eat even when I cannot taste…
because I know my body needs to be fed… my body cries out with stomach growling and aching for food..
so too does my spirit need nourishment even when “I can’t feel God.” My soul cries out to be nourished by God.
I could have spent my day blaming my food for not being able to taste it. But that would have been foolish.
“I could just sit
I could just sit and wait for all Your goodness
Hope to feel Your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You
Hope to feel something again
And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down
But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord”
When my senses are dulled and God doesn’t seem close… I could just stay right where I am… hoping to feel God’s presence…
But he has called me higher.
How about you? Where is God leading… and are you ready to follow? Where have your “spiritual senses” been dulled and what is God calling you to do about that?
Praying for you!