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Buckets of Goodness

I saw a charming painting by Grandma Moses depicting the Vermont sugar maple harvest. The grove was full of people carrying on each stage of the process. Some were busy tapping little spouts into the trees and hanging buckets on them. Some were collecting the sweet water sap. Others were boiling it down to make maple syrup.

Who in America hasn’t eaten stacks of fluffy pancakes with maple syrup? Pure goodness! But do you know there are people in other countries who have never tasted them? We found that out when we lived in Brazil. A little neighbor boy sampled pancakes one morning at our house and asked for the recipe. A few weeks later I happened to see his mother. She said, “My son makes me fix pancakes every morning!” The point is, you must taste the dish to find out it’s goodness. We could have described it to them, but it wouldn’t have meant much. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” God invites us to taste His goodness. Well, we don’t see a spout anywhere flowing with His goodness so how do we taste it? Look at the last part of the verse. It says TRUST. We are blessed and receive His goodness when we trust Him.

Now there are other kinds of maple trees. I once had a silver leaf maple in my front yard. It was beautiful but had no sweet sap. Many times people try to tap into something else to get their needs met--the things of the world. But these are empty and dry and will never satisfy. Only God has the sweet flowing goodness to meet our needs.

As the sweet maple syrup sap flows from the sugar maples, the goodness of God flows out to us continually (Psalm 52:1b). What does that mean to us? It means that everything He does works together for our good. It means His intent is good and never evil. It means He never runs out of good things for us. It means we can rely on His promise to do good things and give us what we need. It means God only gives us good things. It means He never withholds His goodness. Even when other people mean to do evil to us, God turns it around for our good. God’s goodness follows us all the days of our lives. The Lord is good to all (Does it seem like He blesses others more than you? Not so!). His goodness is great! His goodness is rich! It never turns bitter! It is abundant not meager! His goodness is non-stop! It never runs dry!

I once heard a southern preacher say, “If you didn’t get anything out of the service, it’s because you didn’t bring a bucket to put it in.” So bring a bucket--that bucket is your expectation and trust in God. (Have you only held out a teaspoon or a cup in the past because your trust was small?) Hold out your bucket to Him and He will fill it. You’d better have more buckets handy though, because God wants to pour out to you a continual flowing eternal stream of sweet goodness.

Scriptures to Ponder: Psalm 52:1b; Romans 8:28; James 1:17; Matthew 7:9; Psalm 84:11; Genesis 50:20; Psalm 23:6; Zechariah 9:17; Romans 2:4.

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