Monday, February 3, 2020

Lessons All Around

By: Joanne Viola

There have been many lessons learned over the years with my granddaughters. They came in the simplest of forms, from the most ordinary times of our days. Like the time Sophia asked for a banana.

I handed her one and we sat down to read a book together. She wanted to peel it by herself.

“Your bananas are sweet, Mimi. Delicious”.

Glad she was enjoying it, I continued reading. A few bites later, she shuddered and said, “Ugh”. As I turned to see what was wrong, she stated, “The strings, Mimi. The strings are disgusting. I hate the strings.”

Replying that I did as well, I told her not to eat them, but instead to peel the strings off and put them on the napkin. Then she shared this insight …

“It’s part of the banana, Mimi. Don’t you know that to eat the whole banana, you have to eat the good and the bad? So after my first bite, I eat all the strings and then I only have the good banana left.”

Each time I peel a banana, the conversation floods my thoughts.

It is so easy to praise God, to be thankful even, when everything is going well in life. It gets even easier when good things seem to be coming our way. We can thank Him, praise Him, and worship Him with ease on those days.

But on those days, those “string days” – when life seems a little bitter, not quite what you were hoping for, then gratitude and worship come with a little more difficulty.

My thoughts turn to Job. Job, who loses everything, and his first response?

“Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground in worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise be the name of the Lord!”
(Job 1:20-22, NLT)

Job did not blame God. He did not blame people. His first response was praise. Job knew. He had learned well that all things come from God. It all has meaning and purpose. It is all deserving of our praise – the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. Easy? No. Yet God is still deserving of our praise not for the circumstances, but for His very Presence in being with us through it all.

In the end Job was able to say,
“I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” (Job 42:5, NLT)

There are lessons all around us.
Even from the strings of a banana.

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay


  1. Joanne,
    This is beautiful! Who would have thought a banana could be such an apt analogy of our faith life. I tend to grumble a bit too much if my banana has a bunch of strings, but with the bitter comes the bountiful. May I have more grace to praise Him for it all and in it all. Great reminder this am! I'll never look at bananas the same again :)
    Bev xx

    1. Bev, I am continually amazed at the lessons learned as I have watched my granddaughters over the years. Simple object lessons which delivered a powerful thought sticks for life. Perhaps this is why Jesus taught in parables :) xo


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