Emotionally and spiritually bruised? God can use it. There is never a circumstance or experience that happens in your life that He can not and will not use to show Himself faithful.
Bananas and Herbs - What could they have in common? Well one was my morning breakfast and the other was a morning chore. But – as God typically does…He teaches me through the simplest of things.
That banana this morning looked a little gross - but after eating some of it I noticed that it was very sweet. The outside was bruised and in looking at the other bananas in my pantry – the others had the same significant bruising. Being the teacher that I am, I wanted to find out more the bruising process, so I did a little research. From my research it appears that there is a scientific reason for the bruising of fruit and the increased level of sweetness. It seems that: ethylene in fruit will cause not only a “bruised” appearance but also make the fruit ripen and taste sweeter and less tart.
Now, I moved on to my herbs (another morning chore). I knew that they smelled wonderful coming straight from my garden, but watching all of the cooking shows on TV, I also know that they need to be bruised to be at their peak - to be the most useful and aromatic. Why? It appears that: each cell, that makes up the leaf or stem of the herbs is filled with tasty oils. These oils are released when the leaf or stem is bruised due to the bursting of many cell walls at the same time. Bruising causes much more pungent flavor than a simple cut.
Huge spiritual lesson!!
I have to say – that the lesson hit home with me. I feel bruised (with a bit of ‘post-traumatic-stress’ thrown in). At times we all do. I have emotional bruises that I did not believe I would ever overcome….but (praise God!) He restores. God uses the bruising, the memories, the experiences you've been through to make you stronger and more useful to Him and as an example of His faithfulness.
Have you ever looked at the scar over an injury? It is a tough skin …. A protective skin….. and many times it is stronger than the initial skin. Emotional injuries and bruising brings strength, just like that scar, and usefulness or purpose when God is in it. Many times that strong, protective skin will form so that the healing can occur deep beneath the injury. But a Banana, if not used, will eventually deteriorate, become unusable and disintegrate. So allow God to use it - to use you. The good, the bad and the ugly.
There are so many people in the Bible who were bruised and used.
Joseph: (Genesis 37, 38, 39)
He was bruised by being thrown in a hole by his own siblings and was used by God to touch the lives of thousands of people.
Moses: (Exodus 2)
He was bruised by being placed in a river, given away by his own mother to save him but used by God to save a nation. Without that bruising, he would have never been in a place to be used by God.
Jonah: (Jonah 1, 2)
He was bruised by being eaten by a fish but God used the breaking of his spirit to spread His word.
Woman with the flask of ointment: (Mark 14:13)
She had to bruise and break that flask of precious oil before using that perfumed expensive ointment to annoint the feet of Jesus - without it being broken it could not be used.
He was certainly bruised but used as the sacrifice required for forgiveness of our sins.
He understands being bruised.
My prayer today is:
“God uses the bruises. Many have healed and scarred – but in that scarring comes strength. Do not allow that bruising to continue because that is where deterioration comes - it can mean total destruction of a life. Instead use the lessons learned from our bruising to create a sweetness, a strength and a much more aromatic calling. Help others through the lessons we've learned – through the hurts we’ve been through. You see our bruising (Psalm 34:18) and you see our brokenness….use it for your purpose.
I love you dearly. Amen”