It’s my go-to.
Anytime I need to help celebrate a birthday. Anytime I need to bring an item to a potluck. Anytime I need to placate my mother for leaving to live in a foreign land.
One of my college roommates was an excellent baker, and she would indulge me every once in awhile by making this treat for us. As the year dwindled down, I realized I would soon be without my roommate’s treasured ability to make such a mouth-watering snack. She happily shared her recipe with me, and although not the most skilled or practiced in the kitchen, I’ve managed to re-create her specialty time and time again.
I enjoy watching all the ingredients come together, but one thing has always puzzled me. It has to do with the fruit that gives the bread its name. The state of this main ingredient.
You see, I’m kind of a banana freak. I love bananas, but they have to be just perfect for me to eat them. As soon as those rascally brown dots start forming, they are no longer a viable option for me.
So, for any of you that have filled your kitchen with the sweet aroma of this homemade treat, you know that the bananas needed are not the perfect ones I enjoy eating. Rather, it’s the browned, mushy, just-days-before-moldy-growths-start-appearing bananas that make the bread taste the best.
The worst bananas make the best bread?
Yes, they do.
And one day, as I was quickly unpeeling the nearly-rotten fruit, my overly analytical brain made the transition.
Could God use me, the worst of sinners, to make a great impact for Him in this world?
Yes, He can.
In fact, God has a habit of using imperfect people to accomplish His work. David was an adulterer. Jacob was a liar. Gideon was afraid. The list goes on. And yet, God used these men to make His name known.
“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in Him.” [1 John 4:15]
“For in Him, we live and move and have our being.” [Acts 17:28]
That’s where it gets great!
I am a sinner. There is nothing I can do to save myself. But God, in all His justice and mercy, allowed Christ to take the punishment for my sin, and I now acknowledge Him as Lord of my life. Because of that, God lives in me. So despite my sinful nature, I am able to make a great impact because God himself acts in me to make that possible.
But sometimes, I forget. I feel like I personally need to bring something to the plate. Something to offer on my own. And just as I try to show God my pretty yellow banana, He reminds me that apart from Him, I have no good thing.
He alone can take me, bruises and all, and make something good.
In two months, I will be traveling to Kenya to serve as a teacher among the Rendille people. I pray that while I am there, God’s name will be made known. And not because I am able. But because, He is able through me.
Don’t be afraid to offer your brown speckles to God. He is able to turn them into something great J