Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Parable of The Banana Bread

My wife and I are very predictable and very compatible - even though she tends to vote Democratic and I usually go the Conservative route.

We know each others likes and dislikes, we can finish each others sentences, and even drink out of the same bottle without wiping it off first. We're close. After 39 years of marriage, we should be!

Every once in a while my wife brings home a bunch of bananas. I like them fresher and a little firm while my wife likes hers somewhat aged and a little softer. But no matter how many bananas she buys, we always seem to have one or two left that don't get eaten. There's a reason for that. And we both agree, it's a miracle! :)

Brown bananas are disgusting. Most people might want to throw them out and get rid of them. But not MY wife. She saves 'em. I know. That seems strange at first but she can take the most disgusting bananas and turn them into the most amazing loaves of banana bread. What a gift! To be able to take something disgusting and turn it into something good.
But who decided to do something like that? Someone back in ancient times actually thought it might be a  good idea to cook up some over-ripe fruit and eat it. Sure! Why not! What could possibly go wrong?

It was probably the same guy who thought squeezing a cow's dangling underparts was a good way to get something to drink. And the same guy who digs around under a chickens butt to find something good to eat!

But banana bread IS good no matter WHO invented it. My wife takes old, good for nothing fruit, saves it from death in the garbage can and creates something wonderful, uesful and amazing out of it. It's a miracle!

God does the same thing with us.

We can get pretty disgusting ourselves - full of sin, we are disgusting in God's eyes. But God sees good in us. We just need a little cooking. The Bible calls it "refining." It might take the rest of our lives but God keeps working with us, mixing us in with the right set of ingredients.

He takes of mix of failed relationships, trouble in the workplace and health issues and throws in some love, compassion, mercy and grace, and the next thing you know He pulls a born-again Christian out of the oven.

My wife's banana bread is amazing. So is God's amazing handiwork. We still can go bad if we sit on the shelf long enough but that's why God wants us to be used. Consumed, if you will. Is there someone in your life who needs some "food" - The Gospel? Hey, we are God's banana bread.

If you find yourself feeling down, if you get to feeling like you're no good and that nobody cares, remember that God is not done with you yet. You are still a work in process. When you find yourself heading for the mixing bowl, about to be smashed into mush through a difficult trial, don't forget that the most beautiful diamond was once a dirty lump of coal.

God is not through with you yet!! So rejoice!! He is making you into something amazing!

Consider the woman Ruth who had nothing and had to follow the harvesters, searching for grain they had missed. Through her struggle God provided abundantly and changed her life forever through a man named Boaz. Look at God's provision in this story! Ruth emerged from her struggle . . . and one of their descendants saved the world. Jesus.

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her (Ruth), “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”

And glory be to God who took notice of a bunch of bananas like us!

The Book of Ruth
How To Make Banana Bread

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