Do You Ever Feel Like a Rotten Banana?
Do You Ever Feel like a Rotten Banana?
As some of you know, I have a baking gig delivering goods to a coffee shop in town several times a week. Although this job is new, I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. I’ve done farmer’s markets, weddings, birthday parties, catered events, and sometimes I just bake for binge eating days for no reason at all.
Baking is therapeutic for me. Some things in my life seem like they take forever to come to pass (building our house, saving money, etc.) But baking is instant gratification. Mix it up, bake it, out of the oven comes beautiful, succulent success. Minimal waiting involved. (Not to mention your house smells amazing too, no cleaning needed!)
In my baking job, I’m on a schedule. I have to plan at the beginning of the week for everything right up through the weekend. One thing on the menu that has quickly become a morning staple is the Banana Pecan Crunch Muffin. The trick to getting these just right is the ripeness of the bananas. That means I buy bananas at the market with spots on them several days ahead so they can be sitting and browning all week, perfect for baking day.
Last week, I forgot to buy bananas ahead of time. The next morning was baking day and I had used up all the bananas. I told myself I could probably find a home-remedy trick online of how to quickly brown your yellow bananas for recipes. I headed to the store to settle for yellow bananas.
I know that most grocers don't sell over-ripe bananas on the shelves. They do not look appetizing. They are off-putting to most people. However, I was on a mission, albeit, a mission I thought would be fruitless. (See what I did there, with the fruit pun?)
The very first store I went into, I headed on over to the produce and guess what I found? Blackening, mushy bananas. Two whole bundles! I couldn't stifle the goofy grin that had spread itself across my face and I skipped over happily and snatched them up. It was a happy little reunion. I picked them up carefully and my heart was full. I didn't think I’d find you here! How nice to see you! You are going to be perfect and save me so much time!
I drove home thankful that I had found those bananas. When I got home I wrote a note that read, DO NOT EAT and put it on them. (In case there would be any weird takers. You never know.)
As I prepared my other baking supplies, the Holy Spirit called my attention to the counter. See how you are protecting those bananas? I looked over at them and thought about my day. How goofy I had been at the store, and how I made a sign to make sure no one touched them. Why did I do that?
They were not quite ready yet and I had a purpose for them.
Most people at the store would not have wanted them, let alone have been happy to pay full price. Only a baker would have a use for them. But the baker has in mind a special role only a nearly-rotten banana can carry out.
Do you ever feel like you are nearing the end of your shelf-life? Perhaps you feel physically or emotionally spent. Maybe you feel your life or your talents have been wasted and you don't understand why you've had to go through the things you've gone through. Maybe you've slipped through the cracks? Has God forgotten you? You may feel like your opportunities have passed, and the enemy will tell you it's too late for you to accomplish anything significant now.
I would like to purpose to you today that perhaps you are set aside right now for a special purpose not just anyone can accomplish.
Many people give up in the processing. It’s hard. We want to quit and hide tail out of there, back into yellow banana land. But it’s only the ones who have endured the waiting and the darkening process who get to be transformed. Only a baker rejoices over rotten bananas, but oh, over rotten bananas does a baker rejoice!
If you feel discarded, un-useful, forgotten, or stale, I’m talking to you. The feeling of being left on the counter for an extended period of time is not fun. Maybe you are looking at others and wondering why you were looked over. Maybe you are going through something that is threatening to break you down. Going through a season of darkening is necessary, for maturity, for development, but it's not glamorous. Most people cave.
Don’t you do it.
You sit there. Trust that God has a special plan and role designed for you if you stay faithful.
You may feel alone right now. You may be sitting on that counter not because you are forgotten, but because He has put a sign on you saying, DO NOT TOUCH HER! She’s not quite done yet. If I am able to articulate this how God explained it to me, you would be getting excited right now! Listen to me. God is the great baker who pays full price for you because He has a purpose to transform you.
You are not forgotten. You are being carefully watched over and are checked upon often. You make the baker proud and he has an end in mind. He’s fixing to use you in a way that can only work, or will work its best, if you go through this process.
You are so loved. You are valuable. You may feel forgotten but you are simply not through processing. By the way, my home is currently filled with the aroma of perfectly fragrant banana pecan crunch muffins. Everyone wants to be the muffin. No one wants to be the rotten banana.
Stay the course. I’m rooting for you and I can’t wait to see what God is creating.
A fellow counter-sitter