Do you desire to be crispy, spicy, tender, and irresistible?
I looked forward to Saturday mornings when I was a kid. My mom made Black-eyed peas fritters (Akara) for breakfast. When served hot, these fritters were crispy on the outside, spicy and tender on the inside, and delicious. Tender, irresistible delicacies!
Whenever I make black-eyed peas fritters for my family, it always brings back fond memories. Recently, while making a batch of these irresistible delicacies, I made a connection I had not considered before. Perhaps, you are wondering what black-eyed peas have to do with growth and transformation. Let me explain.
Making black-eyed peas fritters involves many steps which include, soaking, crushing to remove the skin, and grinding the peas into a fine paste. The mixture is seasoned with salt to taste and deep fried in hot oil.
The dried black-eyed peas were raw materials that went through a process of transformation to become crispy, spicy, tender, irresistible and delicious fritters. This process is very much like the steps to our growth, spiritual transformation, and maturity.
Personal transformation begins with raw materials
Let’s explore Joseph’s life and the steps he went through to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. Joseph was a 17-year-old teenager, the eleventh son in the family. He had a special gift of dreams. His dreams suggested that he would be a leader and be in authority over his brothers and parents.
Joseph’s dreams would come true but at a cost. His brothers resented him for his dreams and sold him to into slavery.
Eventually, Joseph became a servant to Potiphar, an Egyptian official. However, trouble was not far from Joseph as he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.
Joseph’s gifts of dreams and interpretation came in handy. He interpreted dreams for fellow inmates and later for Pharaoh. God gave him the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream and a strategy. Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph’s interpretation and strategy that he made him second in command over all of Egypt. Joseph was 30 years old.
Did you catch that? Joseph endured 13 long years of trials and difficulties. But it was all a part of growing his character.
Just like the dry black-eyed peas, Joseph was raw material at age 17. He was proud, boastful and entitled. However, to fulfill God’s purpose for his life, he had to go through his own version of “soaking, crushing, grinding, seasoning, and deep frying.”
Joseph grew because of these experiences, he let go of boasting and embraced humility, integrity, forgiveness, servant heart, and love for God. Joseph’s trials deepened his trust in God and gave him God’s perspective.
In the end, Joseph said to his brothers, “As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring to pass this day to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20
Transformation: Insights from Black-eyed peas fritters and Joseph’s life
- God has a plan for you and me.
We are God’s masterpiece. Our purpose is to do the good works He planned long ago (Ephesians 2:10). Pain is often a necessary part of this process to remove our dross and impurities. For the black-eyed peas, the process of transformation to deliciously irresistible fritters involved removing the skin, crushing, grinding and deep frying. Joseph’s path to leadership led him through a 13-year separation from his family, slavery, false accusations, and imprisonment. Ultimately, he saved many people from dying during the famine including his family.
God’s plan is to transform us to be more like Jesus in our character, attitude, and actions.
But we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4
- Embrace your season
Joseph embraced his season. Submit to the process and ask God to guide you through whatever season you are in right now. As we embrace our season and pursue God’s purpose for our lives, we become “crispy, spicy, tender irresistible children of God.”
- God is present even when we don’t sense him
A consistent theme throughout Joseph’s life was “God was with Joseph.” Even though life was challenging, God’s favor was upon Joseph. God is present with you and fully aware of your situation. He is at work in us so let’s count it all joy.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:1-4
Scriptures: Genesis 37:3-11, 18-26, 38, Genesis 39:7-23, Genesis 40:9-15, Genesis 41:14-33, 41, Genesis 42:6