I told you last week that I didn’t want to make lemonade from lemons and enticed you with a brownie-nut smoothie that God could make for you out of life’s kale (trials).
Now, I wouldn’t wish kale, literal or figurative, on anyone. I never had kale until I developed POTS and NCS and tried Dr. Terry Wahls’ protocol of consuming 9 cups of produce a day to promote natural healing. While I didn’t keep that regimen up, I still do eat kale most days– massaged kale salads, kale chips, or my favorite, smoothies with kale. I admit, though, I didn’t really want to start eating kale, and I’d give it up in a heartbeat if it weren’t so healthy.
Likewise, I don’t want trials. I’d give them up, and I’d take them away from friends and family, if I could. I don’t want my friend to suffer the heartbreak of her husband’s affair or of his porn addiction or of her lonely Friday nights. I want my friend to carry a baby to term and not feel the pain of infertility. I want my friend who just moved to make friends with whom she can build a history and true community. I want my nephew and my friends’ kids–as well as my adult friends and relatives– healed from special needs, life-threatening allergies, autism, cancer, rare illnesses. I want jobs restored, flooded homes rebuilt, ebola eradicated, Iraqi Christians rescued, and persecutors’ hearts changed.
But God says He works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I don’t know how that is, but I have to trust that though our trials are painful, scary, sad, discouraging, HORRIBLE, He is going to use them for His glory. I have to trust that the not-so-yummy kale I swallow down is going to work good in my body. I am thankful God will never abandon us in our trials and can redeem our kale, our suffering, into something beautiful, maybe even yummy.
So, here’s my working out of, “If God gives you kale, let Him make you a brownie-nut smoothie.”
2 cups kale: Many of us can agree that kale is a trial. 🙂 Kale is also a powerhouse, though, of nutrients that can give your body much energy and strength. Your trial may indeed bring blessing and spiritual health.
1 very ripe, frozen banana: Bananas used to be a rarity to many around the world. Its tropical sweetness makes a huge difference in this smoothie. What rare sweetness is God bringing into your suffering?
1/2 cup frozen blueberries: Blueberries are another superfood, and they add fantastic flavor to this smoothie, but they are expensive. Look to see how God is providing for you in the midst.
Dash of cayenne pepper: A little taste of heat gives it a kick like Mexican chocolate. This is a stretch, maybe, but think of the way God guided the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years (Exodus). The cloud by day protected them from the hot sun, while the fire at night warmed them and gave them light. Ask God to warm you and guide you.
2 heaping spoonfuls of ground flaxseed: I often use flaxseed, because it gives strength and energy and is good for your brain. Remember when God told Abraham his descendants would outnumber the grains of sand by the shore, the stars in the sky? This flaxseed can remind us of those praying for us and even of the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. Others’ prayers will help sustain you.
2 heaping spoonfuls of cocoa powder: The cocoa powder is bitter on its own, like your trials, but brings that chocolate yumminess we all crave. As you experience hard times on top of your trial, ask God to give you goodness during it all, what a friend of mine calls “Cinderella moments.”
1/2 cup almondmilk (or other milk or substitute): Not sure what to say about almondmilk. Any ideas? Comment below!
Blend all, adding more liquid if needed. Add ice. Blend again. Add 1/4 c almonds and blend lightly, so the almonds are still a bit chunky.
And voila. This makes enough for you and a friend.
You know what? I realize this smoothie might not look THAT amazing, maybe even a teensy bit yucky. You and I still may not want to drink it. This is probably NOT really what you think of when you hear “brownie-nut.” God’s plans for you, the trials He has brought you, may not be how you envisioned your life. I know that’s true for me. And all the sweetness, strength, and nutrition in the smoothie may not completely take away the presence of kale in each sip, even though they sure help me get it down. This is where we trust, friends, through the suffering.
What is the kale in your life right now? I’d love to be flaxseed, one of the grains of sand, God’s people, praying for you.