Parable of the Corn Cobs

Daughter and I cook and freeze sweet corn. Boil, blanch, cut. Boil, blanch, cut. Standing side by side at the counter, we slice off the sweet kernels as soon as the ears are cool enough to handle. Chunks of yellow and white fall from knife blade to pan. We toss the stripped cobs into the trash basket behind us.

Twenty-month-old Grandson, barely a head taller than the trash bin, is fascinated by the warmth still coming from the shaved, rough cobs. He reaches for one, but his mother intervenes.

“No, no, honey,” she says. “That’s trash. Here, taste these.” And she hands him a few kernels from her pan; the yellow drops are still hanging together, like a tiny wafer. Tasting and liking, Grandson asks for more. As we work, his mother and I every now and then pass him another bite.

We work, chatting. Then I catch sight of little hands again at the trash bin behind us, hands stretching for the pile of bare cobs, picking one that has a ring of kernels still clinging to the end. Grandson gnaws on it, trying to get a few morsels of sweet gold.

“Honey! That’s trash. I’ll give you more of the good stuff. Just ask me.”

His mother looks up at me and says, “Isn’t that just the way we are with God?”

Yup. We scrounge around, trying so hard to find what we think might be “good” or “the best we can do” according to our own short-sighted and limited perspective. But we may just be eating the leftovers in the trash, when all we have to do is ask God, and He’ll give us something that He knows is so much better. As a matter of fact, He’ll give us what He knows is best for us, something that is often beyond our sight or knowledge now.

You’ve known these verses forever, but try to read them today as though this is the first time Jesus tells you this:

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

I have been wondering — in what parts of my life am I just gnawing on corn cobs? Where do I settle for less than the best God can give me? Why don’t I just ask for the really good stuff?

Just ask, God says. Ask, seek, knock. The Father will give His children good things.

Why do we gnaw on corn cobs?



Scripture: Matthew 7:7-8,11

2 thoughts on “Parable of the Corn Cobs

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