Eating a banana for the glory of God

May 14, 2012

In this age where sin has deeply rent the human heart from its created purpose to make much of God's glory, there are heightened moments our lives when the Holy Spirit engenders faith to believe in a restoration of that purpose. Several months ago I had one of those moments - not while in prayer, worship, or study, but simply standing in my kitchen eating a banana.

In order to explain I have to start sometime late last year when I listened to this teaching by Stephen Venable entitled Sovereignty and Prayer. Stephen's goal in this teaching was to remind us what the scriptures say about God's rulership and governance over His creation. We live in an age where "Mother Nature" and "natural laws" have taken the place of the LORD as the sustainer and ruler over all that He has made. Scripture emphatically declares that the LORD gives life and breath to all things actively (Psalms 104:27-30; Daniel 5:23; Job 12:10; Isaiah 42:5), causes plants to grow, gives rain, and gives food actively (Job 5:10; Job 37:6-13; Psalms 65:7-11; Psalms 104:7-13; Psalms 147:8; Psalms 147:15-18), and presides over the lives of men actively (Job 34:14-15; Acts 17:24-25; 1 Samuel 2:6).

I had been meditating on some of those scriptures, particularly Psalms 145:16 and Psalms 65:7-11 and how the LORD is the one who sends rain for the earth's crops to grow. I was asking Jesus to shake me from my naturalistic perspective, that His word would renew my mind and take root in my heart, and that awe and gratitude would be my response to His glory as the creator and sustainer of all. I didn't really "feel" much during this time, but continued to ask in faith knowing that He heard my prayer.

About a month or so later on a very routine, normal morning, I was in my kitchen looking for a little snack before my afternoon sets at the IHOP-KC prayer room. I reached into my pantry and grabbed a banana. As I was peeling it, the scriptures I had been meditating on the weeks before came to mind. I began to thank the LORD for the banana that He gave me. As I was praying, I realized that:

  • The LORD was the One who sent the rain on the banana trees in South America where my banana was "born".
  • The LORD was the One who caused the banana to grow on the tree.
  • The LORD was the One who actively gave breath to the man or woman who picked my banana from the tree.
  • The LORD was the One who moved the clouds with His hand to cause nice weather for the plane that flew my banana to North America.
  • The LORD was the One who actively gave the truck driver life to be able to drive my banana to my local supermarket.
  • The LORD was the One who gave me the ability to drive to the supermarket to buy the banana.

As I realized that the only reason why I was standing in the kitchen eating that banana was because of the kindness of the LORD, I began to weep. My heart was abounding with gratitude as I stood in awe of the kindness, power, love, and mercy of God!

In 1 Corinthians 10:31, the Apostle Paul writes "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God". Though modernity has turned "doing things for glory of God" into a phrase in Christian rhetoric about religious duties completely devoid of any real meaning, I touched just a little bit of Paul's heart behind his exhortation to the Corinthians. I was truly making much of God's glory through the eating of a banana!

Next time you are at a restaurant enjoying a meal, fight for this perspective. Don't let the delusion of your local supermarket rob you of gratitude and worship. In prayer at meals, do more than ask Him to "bless the food to our bodies". Recognize that the only reason why you are breathing and have any food at all is because He alone is the creator and active sustainer of all. In the recognition, His glory is magnified and gratefulness abounds from our heart.

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