Last week, I helped a couple of friends put meat on to cook at church. We were preparing it in advance for some of our church's missional activities including our annual Thanks-4-Giving event. That's where we fill our Family Life Center with clothing and toys and invite anyone in the community who needs it come and fill bags with what their family needs but might not be able to afford. There are church members assisting in finding clothing sizes and giving haircuts and manicures. They get a delicious barbecue dinner. It is a chance for our church members to love on the community and hopefully send them home with not only some needed items but some spiritual food as well.
We need a lot of meat to feed people at these events and Delilah, Gayleen and I spent the evening preparing pork roasts and brisket. 300 pounds of meat, filling about 12 roasters. We seasoned the meat with spices and onions--lots of onions. The next morning Delilah emailed me--"Do your hands still smell like onions? I've tried everything to get rid it and nothing works!" Two days later, our hands still smelled like onions!
I woke up this morning with this thought: that our spiritual life should be like cutting up onions. Onions aren't necessarily pretty. The smell can be overpowering and if you eat them, everyone knows it.
We had to trim, peel and cut up the onions to get the best flavor out of them before they went in the roasters. They caused us to be teary. They smelled. But the end result--all that delicious meat flavored with this root vegetable--will be well worth our trouble. And cooked, caramel-ly onions--yum.
If you are struggling with submission to the will of God, (which I do hourly) it's not always pretty. The trimming and peeling we require to be used in God's work can cause tears. You might feel overwhelmed. But the end result is wonderful. When you are cooked down--submitted to God--you have a delicious aroma--you add a wonderful flavor to the world. And like the onions on our hands, the aroma of God in your life will linger and everyone around you will know that He is Lord. And they will want what you have!
"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." 2 Corinthians 2:13