A Lesson from an Onion by Christianna Van Hooreweghe

Crossing the threshold of Walmart has always been one of my least favorite things to do. With its draining white lights and its amazing ability to vacuum all time out of my day, it and I have never gotten along.

With all other options exhausted, I sadly found myself at this dreaded place while visiting my family a few weekends ago.

I don’t normally look for lessons that God might be teaching me in the produce section—unlike my VeggieTale-saturated childhood might have led me to—but God had another lesson he wanted me to learn from a vegetable that day.

I was looking at the onions when I noticed this one:

It only had one layer of skin[1] left.

Immediately, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “I want you to be like that onion.” That probably sounds comical without an explanation. I laughed, too. So, let me explain.

Too often in our Christian lives we put protective layers around ourselves. We fill our lives with distractions, people, places, objects—you name it—that we use for a myriad of ultimately self-seeking purposes.

We let ourselves and our lives become comfortable. Convenient. Complacent.

We protect and cover ourselves from the harsh realities of this world, or in some cases, what God might be calling us to do, with things God might not desire for our lives.

God wants all of us. Every thought, action, and word that comes out of our lives should be done in a way that reflects Jesus and is done for His glory.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

God wants our lives peeled back—with only one layer around us protecting us from the world. He wants one ultimate focus for our lives. That focus is not supposed to be a sinful one, of course. But it also isn’t a degree, friendships, family, or any other good thing that we might have. It is only Him.

Our main purpose on this planet is to live our lives to glorify God and to love and serve others while sharing the Gospel. Anything less than or easier, even if it is a good thing, is lacking.

Our lives are meant to be used to serve God and others. We cannot do this if our lives are perfectly insulated, safe, and shielded from God’s calling on our lives.

This challenge and reminder that He showed me through this onion is something I have repeatedly failed at and will continually be surrendering to God for the rest of my life.

As you continue this school year, I encourage you to look at the layers and protections you have in your life and to truly challenge yourself by asking the hard questions:  Is God the only protection I am holding onto?  Is He my ultimate focus in life?

If the answer to these questions is no, spend some time in prayer asking why not and what you need to turn over to God in your life as a result of knowing this.

God wants all of you. If he doesn’t have all of you, He is fighting to have all of you right now because He loves you so much. He wants what is best for your life—and what is best for your life is whatever He has planned.

 

But this call to a single-minded focus on Jesus and the Gospel isn’t something that God calls us to without a promise from Him.

God promises us that he will never forsake us or leave us unguarded:

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

He will take care of us. He just wants our one and only focus and protection in this world to be Him and His word.

If you haven’t started or finished yet, peel back the layers in your life that are distracting you from what God wants for you. Put him as your first and only protection and shield in this world. Then, follow Him completely and wholeheartedly.

 

[1] If you’re not familiar with raw onions, they generally have multiple layers of paper-like skin that need to be peeled before the actual vegetable can be accessed.

 

Christianna Van Hooreweghe is a sophomore secondary English education major from Nashville, TN. She enjoys being a part of the BSU’s kids’ club and drama team. She loves her siblings and being the oldest child of eight. But because of the craziness of a big family, she is only comfortable when things are a little loud and a little crazy.