Useful through Imperfections

Every week when I bring groceries home I face the reality of the fruit that was wasted the week before. I always have good intentions with what I buy, but between bottles, diaper changes, and managing a toddler, I find myself eating leftovers from said toddler or just trying to get down my coffee. So the food gets old, and I cringe as it gets thrown away because I feel so wasteful.

So, this week, the process of tossing the old fruit inevitably began as I put the new groceries away. As my husband cleaned out the fruit bowl he commented, “I hate these bananas went bad so fast”. I realized in that moment I didn’t have to waste those; old bananas mean banana bread with chocolate chips for good measure.

“Don’t throw those away! I can make banana bread”, I said. He asked if I was sure because one banana was already really smushed on the inside, to which I replied, “That’s perfect!” He looked at me puzzled, “Really? That’s perfect? Okay then”. Later in the day, while mixing the ingredients I recalled the conversation with my husband about the bananas. It reminded me that what the world rejects as less than ideal, the Lord looks at and says “that’s exactly what I need—perfect!”

My husband doesn’t know a thing about baking, so to him the bananas were just rotten fruit. But, for my purposes, I saw the imperfections as exactly what I needed for warm banana nut bread. The Lord sees our imperfections in ways we can’t because He has a knowledge of how He can use you beyond our understanding.

As I smashed the bananas in a bowl, I thought about how easy it was to mash them because they were worn and weak. That’s how we feel sometimes—worn and weak, but not beyond hope in Christ. God’s word says it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you”.

I had the treasure of rotten bananas that even though they would be hard pressed, would not be destroyed, but rather transformed. The pressing is often not desired and the fire over refinement can feel overwhelming. But, when I took that banana bread out of the oven I was able to see an example of how God can be glorified in us, through our faults, when we give ourselves up for His purposes.

- Morgan Easley

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