Monday, November 23, 2009

The Little Peanut

There once was a lowly Peanut. Though known from ancient times it took a man, named George Washington Carver to discover its versatile and useful purposes. He discovered no less than 300 ways the peanut could ‘serve’ man’s needs.

I looked at the Peanut Butter jar on our breakfast table the other morning and considered the peanut and mused over how it models for us Christians how we are to be.

First the peanut is a ‘nut’ that is not a nut at all but a little recognized member of the legume family. We too are often called a ‘nut’ in a ‘legume’ patch of society. We don’t really know where we fit and pull back into the shadows of insecurity.
Until we find our place in the kingdom of God and know that we are truly a child of the King, we will never feel as though we belong anywhere.

Eph 5:8 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light "
Col 1:13 "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love"
Eph 1:5 "having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will"

Second, the peanut grows and matures under ground – out of sight. Not until harvest time are its ‘works’ revealed.
So we too as believers often do our best growing ‘underground’ where no one sees us. It has been said that we are only as good as we are when no one is watching. But there is a harvest coming that will reveal what we have done in secret and our works will be revealed in the light.

1Co 3:13,14
"each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.
If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward."

Thirdly, though small and insignificant in itself, its usefulness and strength lies in its numbers.
So it is with us .. we are all members of one another – needing each other for help and support and comfort , sharing our joys and sorrows. .
We are part of the ‘body’ of Christ where we are strong because though many we are ONE in Him.

1Co 12:25,26 "that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. "
Joh 17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."

Fourth, the outer shell of the peanut must be broken off before it becomes useful - it is the kernel inside that is the ‘good’ part. So we too must put off the outer man, Here on our earthly sojourn we must put off the works of the flesh, and then ultimately - in death- the whole physical body that cannot inherit eternal life. It is the inner man that is renewed and strengthened in the Lord - that is useful to God's kingdom here on earth and will enjoy eternal rewards.
Eph 4:22 ."that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts"
Eph 3:16 "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man"

Fifth , perhaps the peanut is best known in Peanut Butter. Who does not have a jar in their fridge or cupboard? But the only way the peanut can offer peanut butter is for it to give up its ‘self-rights’. Do we not too become the most useful if we allow ourselves to be ‘crushed’ so that the life of Christ can be evident in and through us? It is the power of the Holy Spirit that guides and moulds us and others become more important than our own wants and desires.

Php 2:21 "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus."
1Co 10:24 "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being"

These were my thoughts as I looked at the jar of Peanut Butter on my breakfast table.
As I am inspired by the little peanut, may you too remember the lessons the peanut teaches the next time you spread peanut butter on your toast.


Marg said...

I'm always amazed at your gleanings of wisdom and how you portray them.
So many times I feel like that crushed Peanut. But there is hope and encouragement.
My prayer is that the Holy Spirit can continue to work in my life and that I acknowledge him and that others can visibly see that.

Lovella ♥ said...

Before glancing at Marg's comment. . I was already starting to type her words. I am always amazed at what you see all around you in relations to God and how he relates to us. What a gift you have.
I could relate to each part of the peanut process ..It's good. . not always pleasant ..but good.

Betty said...

Julie..I smiled when I saw the peanut and just knew that you would have a good lesson here and I was not disappointed.

Anneliese said...

I too am amazed at what you see in a peanut ... and such a good lesson.
I still remember thinking that peanuts grew on trees, because as a 5 year-old girl I was on a farm that grew peanuts, and they had pulled out a plant and put it on the tree beside the patch to dry out - I guess then you can shake off the dirt . .. so I thought they grew on that tree.

Anonymous said...

I too stand in amazement at your thoughts and insights, and how you take everyday 'things' and infuse into them such truths from the Word. I sure do want God to keep working on me.....not always pleasant...but very needed. Kathy

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

That was fun!

May I add that it is only by crushing that the oil is released from the peanut, and it is oil that can be used to provide light without the smoke you would get if you just burned the uncrushed nut.

(And of course the unshelled peanut can be used to make funny faces by gluing googlie plastic eyes on the shell and little felt lips and yarn hair. Sort of like what people do to themselves when they don't want to be deepened by God.)