My husband wanted to help so I sent him out for some groceries, including bananas. He mistakenly came home with these. I do not have much experience with fresh plantains. They did not look so good with their big black spots. After looking at some recipes on line, I learned that the blacker they become on the outside, the more edible and sweet they were on the inside. I let them get completely black and then opened them with some misgiving. Sure enough, their flesh was beautiful on the inside and as sweet as could be!
I could not help but think of this verse. Outwardly and with enough time, we are all wasting away. We do what we can to minimize the effects of age, but eventually we look more and more beat up! Our bodies break down but that does not have to be true for the inside.
Life can be full of hardship and struggle. Like Paul we may feel that we are “hard pressed on every side” (verse 8) but that does not mean we despair. We may feel crushed by the weight of our trials but we have hope. I do not want to lose heart because God is at work creating me beautiful on the inside. Within I am becoming more mature. Inside I am becoming sweeter as I respond to the Lord in faith and perseverance.
Despite all the bruising, I can be confident that God is using it all to make me more like His Son. Thank you Lord for this hope! Keep me focused on what You are accomplishing on the inside.