Yesterday, Lily said, "Mom, I ate one of those bananas, and it was so gross. It just turned to mush in my mouth. I thought I was going to be sick. You need to make banana bread."
This morning, I woke up at 3:00. After lying in the bed for an hour, I finally decided to get up. I actually got a lot accomplished. As I was putting away dishes from the dishwasher, I saw the bananas that are now well over halfway covered with brown spots. It was at that point where I had to make a decision. I either throw away the bananas, or I make banana bread. So I looked up a recipe and whipped up some banana-chocolate chip muffins. That is the way the girls like them. They don't care for nuts, and years ago they fell in love with Ms. Karen's banana bread made with chocolate chips instead of nuts.
Now I sit here in the quiet of the morning. I have my coffee, my computer, and a muffin hot from the oven. I had to tear it apart so it would get cool enough for me to eat it. I just took my first bite, and it was heavenly! I started thinking, "Isn't it amazing that something so disgusting as an overripe banana can be transformed into something so wonderful?"
Sometimes life is like those overripe bananas. We feel used up and worthless in our current state. But there is one thing that I believe with all my heart. None of our experiences in life are wasted when we take our leftovers to the Divine chef and let Him do His thing. He creates masterpieces! Now the process is not easy. When I made that banana bread this morning, I started out by mashing those bananas until they were just one big pile of mush. Then they had to have other ingredients added to them. The worst part for the poor bananas was being put in the oven and heated up to 350 degrees and cooked until the transformation was complete.
I dare say, our journey with God is much the same way. I want the transformation to be simple and easy. "Here, God, take my mess of a life right now and make it good, and I will check back with you tomorrow for the finished process." Oh, how I wish. But while all of our journeys are different, the process of dying to ourselves and letting God do with us as He sees fit is sometimes painful.
I want to be clear on one thing here. I am not necessarily talking about the circumstances in our life. I think of dear friends that have lost children and spouses. I will never believe that God caused that to happen to make them better. I believe that it is a result of our living in a sinful, fallen world. I am talking about when circumstances of life leave us feeling used up and worthless. I know it is a simple illustration, but think about the bananas. Their aging and ripening was just a part of nature. It just happens. But when they got to that point, they were able to be changed into something wonderful.
So, I sit here today at 42 years old, facing a new life ahead of me. It is not the one I had planned. There are days when the enemy makes me feel pretty used up and worthless. But I am going to hand this life over to the Divine Creator and let Him do His thing to make me into a new creation! I know it will not be easy, and it will probably be hot, uncomfortable, and even painful at times. However, I know that the end result will be worth it!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!