Again this year making pan after pan of cornbread to be used for the pan of dressing my family looks forward to eating I made a mental list of more of my favorite things. On the top of that list is my cornbread pan, it is so old that I don’t ever remember it not being in the kitchen, it was my mother’s before it was mine. It is heavy, the outside has blackened from years of use over gas flames, but the inside of that pan is slick, seasoned, and perfect for making my cornbread. Next might be my coffee mug, the big, thick white one that I bought at the Brown Derby Restaurant, my coffee just doesn’t taste the same from any other cup. Then there is an old, over-sized tee shirt sporting some thin places and definitely ugly, but it is my favorite sleepwear. I have a little gold box with some letters from long ago that I take out occasionally to read. I own several Bibles, but my favorite is my old Dake Annotated, its pages are worn and coming apart, but that Bible always knows exactly where to open anytime I reach for it. These old, ugly, worn items make me feel good, comfort me, and work when I need them to work and everyone in the house knows that there are two things you don’t touch, the scissors I cut hair with, and my cornbread pan. I have a set of bright and shiny pans but when I make cornbread I reach for the old pan.
There are times that I feel like the most ragged, ugly, useless person in God’s Army and the one that is put under the cabinet to hide when company comes over, like my cornbread pan. But 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, bringing it to the point that when I pour the batter in, it immediately sizzles and browns the bottom so that when I slice it, it will slide 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 “some bodies”? 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? Can’t think of anything right this minute!
When things happen to you that rough you up, don’t get angry, you’re just getting seasoned!