Bad Bananas

A few days ago, my 8-year-old son glanced at a bunch of decaying bananas on our kitchen counter. He saw them there for a while and finally decided to ask me, “Why do you need those bad bananas to make good banana bread?” I quickly answered back with a less thought out response, ”that’s just how it works, son.”

As I think about his curiosity a bit deeper, I’ve realized that was indeed a good question. How could something that looks so bad transform into something that tastes so good? And… considering the fact that we live in a “first world” country and tend to essentially waste a lot of products, why keep these and who gets the credit for this brilliant culinary discovery? Think about it, if something seems to have little to no benefit or value, do we consistently figure out ways to reuse or repurpose it? Do you think about what you could do with something that no longer serves the direct purpose you had for it?

An even greater concern is that we not only throw away commodities but tend to do the same with opportunities, relationships, and for some their own vitalities. Could it be it be that we’ve adapted to the toxic culture, disguised by the name of “Canceled”, that moves us to waste what could still be of value? If a job opportunity is harder than we assumed, CANCELLED. If the business or organization we once respected makes a bad decision, CANCELLED. When someone isn’t the person we thought they should be, CANCELLED. Do we ever consider long suffering a situation with the belief that the ’not so good’ experiences could potentially serve a greater purpose? Thankfully, our Father in heaven is in the business of mercy and grace, which moreover makes Him the professional at ‘re-purposing’ for our good.

The bible says in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything under the heavens. Verse six says there’s “A time to keep and a time to throw away.” I’m going to make a bold statement by saying, only God should decide what we keep and what we throw away. If we truly believe that God is sovereign and we are His children, it makes sense for us to surrender complete control to Him. After all, He knows the beginning and the end and also has a specific purpose for our lives.

One truth that we should hold onto tightly is that Jesus came that we might have an abundant life (John 10:10). God doesn’t desire for bad things to happen to us—our painful losses, devastating failures, unhealthy relationships and unfortunate tragedies. I believe we serve a God who wants us to learn to trust Him through all of our experiences that are destined to happen here on earth. Just as we are able to make some delightful banana bread out of bad bananas, God can make something good come from what we have deemed bad enough to throw away. We can believe that our faithful and miracle-working God can turn the bad into something good when we love Him (Romans 8:28).

And it was good… 👍

Now let’s ponder: What are your bad bananas? What can you do to trust God more as He repurposes them?

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