As a work-from-home housewife, I enjoy cooking home cooked meals for my family. We are a melting pot of Caribbean Islands in my household. It’s no wonder a recent side dish I chose to add to our menu was berenjena guisada (Spanish for eggplant stew. It just doesn’t sound right in English). If you’ve never heard of it or tried it, it may not sound appealing, and maybe even a bit confusing. Don’t discount it; it’s delicious! I must admit, I’m a pretty deep thinker when it comes to simple things and activities most people take for granted. You can imagine how my mind began turning while I was peeling the eggplants in preparation for my berenjena guisada. As I stood there peeling the eggplants, I couldn’t help but smile and thought to myself, “You got to peel the skin back to get to the good stuff.” I hope you caught that! You see, growing up I often heard the phrase, “Beauty is more than skin deep.” You have probably heard it too, but we get desensitized to cliché sayings. We are living at a time where so much value is placed in outer appearance and how we carry ourselves. While there is nothing wrong with caring for our outer appearance, we must be careful not to ignore what’s on the inside or beneath that outer layer. Like my dear Pastor Edgar Alvarez says, “Your gifts will take you where your character cannot keep you.” Gifts pertain to the outer layer, that which can be seen. But your character, who you are on the inside, the way you think, your values, your morals, your attitude – that’s the meat. That’s the good stuff. Just like the berenjena guisada recipe, you’ve got to peel back the skin to get some substance. The problem is that’s the painstaking work most of us abhor.
Once you get to the meat beneath the skin, you season it accordingly and add flavor while cooking it. This too is indicative of real life. Have you ever met a “seasoned” Christian? That seasoned Christian that you look up to, and may even consider a virtuous woman, was not born that way. I promise you she’s been cooking for quite a while. It took a lot of peeling back, a lot of preparation, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into seasoning her and cooking her into a “delicious dish” that could feed the masses (in this case spiritually, of course). In order to work on your inner self, you have to come to a place of honest self-examination. Who better to learn about yourself than from your Creator himself? How awesome is it that we have direct access to our Creator? Use that! The Holy Spirit was sent to abide in you. Connect with Him in your quiet place and ask for the sensitivity to search your own heart. Oftentimes, we ask God to prepare us to walk into our purpose, to equip us to maintain our position and glorify Him through it, and then He answers and we do nothing. The answers are right in front of us in His Word! We have the recipe and all the required ingredients. We just have to get in the kitchen and get to work! Spend more time on your knees in prayer, more time in the Word feeding your spirit, and less time feeding your flesh. You’ll receive the answer more clearly, and God will move in your stillness and in your obedience.
Woman of God, do not covet a seasoned sister’s spiritual walk and be afraid of a little heat. Get in that kitchen, and undergo your own process. You want to feed others spiritually? Peel back the outer surface, and get to work on your core so God can use you the way you were meant to be used. “And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 NKJV
If my berenjena guisada analogy has your mouth watering, here is a recipe I found that is just about identical to my own. Click on the image below to watch a video of Chef Zee giving you a step-by-step tutorial on her delicious berenjena guisada recipe. Share a photo of your finished product or comment below letting us know how yours turned out!