It’s so old that I don’t ever remember it not being in the kitchen. It is heavy, the outside has blackened from years of use over gas flames, but the inside of that pan is slick, seasoned, it is perfect for making my cornbread. I have a coffee mug that I bought at the Disney World Brown Derby Restaurant, it is my favorite mug and my morning coffee does not taste the same from any other cup. There is an over-sized tee-shirt it is old, sporting some thin places and definitely ugly, but it is my favorite sleep wear. There are some letters from the way past that I have put away and carefully take out occasionally to read and then return to their special place. I own several Bibles, but my favorite is my old Dake Bible, it is worn and coming apart, there are passages marked in various colors, but that Bible always knows exactly where to open anytime I reach for it. What is my point? These old, ugly, worn items make me feel good; they comfort me and work when I need them to work. Everyone in the house knows that there are two things of mine that you definitely don’t touch, they are the scissors I cut hair with and my cornbread pan. I have a set of Rachel Ray pans that have orange handles that are soft to the touch and the pans are bright and shiny, but when I make cornbread I reach for the old pan, which I keep hidden, but handy, in the cupboard under the stove.
The reason this is important to me is that sometimes I feel like the most ragged, ugly, useless person in God’s Army. I feel I am the one that is put under the cabinet to hide when company comes over, like I hide my cornbread pan. No matter how ugly it is, if I want to make a pan of bread, I reach under the stove, turn the flame on under it and let it heat to the point that when I pour the batter in it immediately sizzles and browns the bottom so that when I slice it, it slides right out without sticking to the sides!
Looking at the men Jesus chose to walk with Him I think they all look more like cornbread pans than shiny new cookware. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” King James says it this way: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”
I don’t mind being the old, ugly, blackened pan that is hidden from public view if when God wants to do something special He will reach under the cabinet and use me, knowing that everything I have gone through in this life has made me seasoned and ready for use. I want Him to be able to count on me, to know that I can take the heat and serve up whatever He wants me to do.
What better calling in life than to be God’s cornbread pan? I can’t think of anything right this minute, so my advice to you is instead of being upset at all the hard times you have to endure, just consider that you are being “seasoned” for a better purpose…God’s cornbread!