A couple of weeks ago, Ellie had a bake sale for her AHG troop and decided to make chocolate chip cookies and banana bread mini muffins. In order to make the banana bread muffins, the recipe called for several ripe bananas. I made sure we bought a lot of them and bought them early since it would take several days for the bananas to ripen from green to yellow to brown.
But during the ripening process, my four year old passed by the kitchen,counter and with a look of utter disgust gasped and said, “Yuck! Mom, something is wrong with our bananas. I think they are getting sick.”
I explained to her that they weren’t sick, in fact, those ugly looking bananas were actually sweeter than the perfect looking one we brought home from the store. The spots were an indication of how much starch had been converted to sugar. The more ugly spots meant the banana contained more sugar. Even though the outside looked yucky, the inside was pure sweetness! [Sidenote: I also learned that the spots are immune system boosters that are rich in antioxidants and have been linked to preventing cancer. I did not bother explaining that to the four year old though].
I paused for a moment to soak in our short little conversation. Sometimes I view my life like it’s an ugly, spotted, brown banana. I think something must be wrong because it looks ugly and imperfect. It’s not pristine and flawless like everyone else’s. There’s nothing pretty to look at, just the train wreck called my life. I have all these hurts and hardships that keep putting spots on my life. Outwardly, my life looks (and often feels) like a mess. It’s definitely not what I expected my life to look like.
But maybe this time of trials, struggle, heartache and sorrows; maybe these things that look like ugly spots in my life are actually bringing about a sweetness inside of me. Even though it sure doesn’t look or feel like it, perhaps this is a time when God is in the process of bringing out some of the sweetest things in my life.
And at just the right moment, when God has brought about all these things to fruition, He will use me, spots and all, to be made into something pleasing and wholly satisfying. However, if I refuse to let God use me, if I allow the spots to inaccurately define me or hold me back, I’ll be left on the shelf to grow rotten and spoiled. I will become bitter and unusable.
Maybe there are spots in your life, too. Failure. Rejection. Guilt. Blame. Illness. Death. Whatever it may be, allow God to use those spots as a time to cultivate pure sweetness into your life. Don’t allow the spots to define your worth and make you grow bitter and unusable. Let God use them for your good and His glory!