Monday, October 21, 2013

A Lesson from Goober Peas

"like chaff before the wind"
Psalm 35:5

So I sat at my kitchen counter a few weeks ago, shelling peanuts....

Photo credit:, because I didn't think to take a picture of the peanuts I was shelling...

I needed chopped peanuts for a recipe, and there was no way I was going to pay for chopped peanuts when I could shell and chop my own, and nibble along the way.  Who wouldn't prefer that?

And as I shelled, putting the empty shells in one pile and the peanuts in another, I thought.  Because that's what I do.

I thought about three things ~ first I thought about Georgia, the nation's #1 producer of peanuts.  Turns out 45% of the country's peanuts come from Georgia.  Thank you, Georgia!  I'll take mine roasted and in the shell, please.  Or in crunchy peanut butter, thank you very much.  And because I was thinking about Georgia, I thought about my friend Bob, who lives there.  {Hi, Bob!}  Georgia is one of the 13 states in the Union that I've never been to, and I'm looking forward to going someday!

I also thought about George Washington Carver.  A few years ago we went to Missouri for our family vacation.  Our motivation was to see the St Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals, but we also visited the homes of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Mark Twain, Daniel Boone, Walt Disney, Harry Truman and George Washington Carver.  Interesting state, Missouri!  Anyhow, we learned a great deal about Carver's work with peanuts ~ researching and promoting the crop to poor farmers as a way to put nutrients back into the soil when it had been depleted by crops such as cotton.  To this day, it's hard for me to think of peanuts without thinking of Mr Carver.

photo credit:

The third thing I thought about was the Bible.  I just love when Scripture permeates the everyday things in my life!  And the verse that came to mind was Luke 22:31 ~ "And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon!  Indeed, satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.'"

The visual given here, of sifting wheat, is a process in which the chaff is blown by a light wind, causing it to rise to the surface.  This makes it more visible, which in Jesus' analogy, would make Peter's weaknesses more obvious to satan.  But I've always thought this was sort of an intriguing verse because in a way, this is what God does, too.  As He grows us and challenges us, He highlights our flaws so that we can see how far we are from where He wants us to be.

The danger is in who's doing the pointing.  If it's satan showing us how flawed we are, that can be discouraging and depressing.  But if it's God, we can know we're in good hands ~ the hands of the Potter. 

Peanuts are good in so many ways.  Tasty, healthy, full of protein and good for the soil.  And there are so many ways to use them in cooking and eating.

We, too, have great potential.  {Yup.  I went there.  I just compared you to a peanut.  Hear me out, though.}

We need to trust Him and allow Him to blow away the flaws and grow us to be more like Him.  Then we will be more and more useful to Him, to serve Him by loving others in ways we cannot imagine.

~ "He makes peace in your borders,
      and fills you with the finest wheat" ~
Psalm 147:14

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