Monday, June 13, 2016

What kind of lemonade are you making?

Lemonade is a popular drink in my home.  In fact, it’s almost always available on command.  It’s up there with milk and water for my family.  We don’t like just any kind of lemonade though.  It has to be the sweet kind.  I don’t know about you, but sour lemonade just doesn’t do it for me.  The sour taste just won’t leave me after the first gulp.  It’s like a horrible nightmare that lingers.  Unforgettable… in a bad way!

On the other hand sweet lemonade leaves you wanting more.  My personal favorite kind is strawberry lemonade.  It tastes SO good!   

When I hear the word “lemonade” it makes me think of that old adage…

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”

This speaks of the fact that at times, life isn’t kind to us.  Life occasionally can be full of seasons of lemons.  I’m not talking about the sweet kind either.  Nope.  It’s those sour moments nobody loves.  Unexpected circumstances that throw us for a loop and shake our faith… SOUR.  Times of hardship struggling to make ends meet striving to thrive, but barely surviving… SOUR.  Facing hurtful, hateful people on a daily basis because it’s your job… SOUR.  A struggling marriage, the loss of a loved one, a painful past, a broken heart… the list could go on and on… SOUR.

Life isn’t fair.  Bad things happen to good people all the time.  We live in a fallen world where people make bad choices every day that affect others in negative ways.  Just because life hurts at the moment doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care or isn’t paying attention.  He loves you dearly friend.

I have faced my fair share of lemons in life… that’s for sure.  Financial hardship, miscarriage, broken relationships, unfortunate circumstances and unexpected delays, not to mention being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease I have struggled with for the past ten years.  Life has been challenging, but God has been faithful. 

I could have given up, blamed God, ran away, lived in denial, or even surrendered to temptation, but I chose differently.  I chose to trust Him, run to Him, and wait for His rescue.  Some how, some way I knew deep down that God would see me through. 

I don’t know if I trusted Him because I heard it so much at church, read about it in my Bible, witnessed God seeing other people through during difficult times, or felt so secure in my own relationship with God that I just knew.   Others I knew who seemed very grounded in God to me faced seemingly insurmountable circumstances as well, but chose differently sending them down a spiraling path away from God.

When trouble comes, when my world spirals out of control, or lemons start flying… the first thing I do is run TO God.  My hearts cry is similar to that of Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and shield.  I trust Him with all my heart.” (NLT)

We need to learn to trust God in good times and in BAD.  He is faithful friend.  He has never failed me yet each time I have run to Him for safety from all of life’s storms.

We have a choice when the bushel full of lemons begins to fall.  We can allow the circumstances of life to SOUR us or make us SWEET.  Remember the lemonade illustration I shared before?  Sweet tastes better! 

When we run TO God in our moments of despair, heartache, and frustration instead of AWAY from Him, He promises to meet us there.

“In those moments of surrender our spirit is sweetened and our hearts are restored.”

We may not understand all of the “Why’s” in life, but when we rest in Him and His ability to take care of us, peace follows.

On the contrary, when we choose to run AWAY from God instead of running TO Him, our spirits become SOURED by life’s circumstances.  Our countenance can begin to change, our perspective can become gloomy, and our words can become cluttered with negativity.  It’s almost as if those SOUR lemons take root in our hearts and spread like poison ivy over our soul.

Life doesn’t necessarily get easier as we choose to run TO God, but regardless of what happens God promises to carry us through it.  We don’t have to walk it alone and not only that… God gives PEACE, JOY, LOVE, PATIENCE, and scores of other fruits that will pour out of us as we begin to rest in Him.

 Have you ever met one of those people who have faced a lot of hardship yet walk with a glowing smile on their face?  It’s not fake.  It’s almost as if their insides are shining through for all to see… true JOY that doesn’t make sense with all they have endured.  That’s got God written all over it!  That’s someone making sweet lemonade out of the lemons life has dealt them.  That’s someone I want to resemble when trials come my way.

I have a question for you today.  When life deals you a bunch of lemons...

 What kind of lemonade will you choose to make?
  Sweet or sour?

I’m telling you SWEET is so much better when it comes to the beverage and your reaction to the lemons life may deal you!  

Next time the lemons begin to fall do something crazy… run TO God!  You will never regret the peace that will follow.

Will you surrender your lemons to God today friend?  He specializes in making sweet lemonade.

Living to leave a legacy,

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