There’s an old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Most of us have heard it or even used it but I wonder how much thought we’ve placed into what this statement means. What happens when you purchase fresh lemons from the market with the intent of making homemade lemonade? Depending on how firm the lemon is at the time of purchase, you would have to roll, squeeze or press it until its soft enough to release the lemon juice. Regardless of your method, pressure is necessary to prepare the lemon to be squeezed. Next you have to cut the lemon either in half or at the ends. Continuous pressure will be necessary in order for the juices to be released. Often you have to keep rolling, squeezing or pressing and sometimes its simply easier to use a juicer or lemon press but you won’t get the most out of your lemon without continuously applying pressure. Once the interior of your lemon is dried and wrinkled you still don’t have lemonade, but rather lemon juice. Water is required or all the squeezing in the world won’t give you the refreshing summer beverage that can quench a parched tongue almost immediately. The amount of water will be dependent upon whether you are making a glass or a pitcher. Then of course there is the option to sweeten your lemonade.
At some point in life we all will find ourselves dealing with an issue easily similar to that of a lemon. We can take our analogy of the lemonade and see the parallels of how we can make those lemons work for our good. Whether you have a big lemon or a small one, there is one trait that applies regardless and that is pressure. Maybe your lemon came in the disguise of lost employment, illness, struggles with a child, death of a loved one, a divorce or failed relationship. For most people those are pretty sour situations. They can often leave us angry, hurt, confused and even lonely. We make an attempt to correct or solve our problem only to find the situation remains unchanged or gets worse much like the cutting process of our lemon. What happened when the lemon was cut? Splitting the lemon allowed the juices to flow a lot easier. The process of moving forward is rarely something that happens quickly and more pressure and discomfort typically will also be present, but we are OPEN, and now when we feel the pressure it doesn’t crush our chest because we can feel those juices flowing through our veins. We may not be happy but we are alive. That gives us opportunity. The experience may provide options to learn a new skill/trade, treatment for the illness, counseling for the child, grief support groups, or spending time with newly divorced or single people. The goal during the juicing stage is to “do” something about the situation. We learned earlier that the juice alone is insufficient until we add water- our source of life, fulfillment and hope. People have various preferences for their life source whether its faith, support from family, professional assistance, meditation, or even exercise. The key is we don’t progress through stressful issues in life without a resource-something to believe in or trust to get through our lemon issues. My faith in God is my source. I know that he listens, cares and ultimately has my good in mind. That allows me to keep pushing through the process. If you’re like me you don’t want to just stop at the lemonade, I want flavor. I love it when my lemons begin to shed a ray of hope, much like that sweetener, it taste different. The problem doesn’t seem as sour and the potential for something refreshing ignites a sense of excitement of the possibilities. This happens when your faith or belief in the resource manifest itself. It may come through the professional advise, developing your faith, rebuilding relationships, starting a new business or career, having medical treatment or a second opinion or even changing your thought process. If you are alive you will have lemon experiences but how you handle them will make the difference in your outcome.
Do you see the parallel? Have you ever stopped to evaluate how your lemon issue turned into lemonade? You should, because there is a bigger picture here then just lemons. Everything we experience in life is for our growth and personal development. The pressing process pushes greater out of us. Those juices shouldn’t be wasted. If you want that refreshing, tap into the power source and believe for the lemonade. Don’t drink it sour, add that sweetener by letting go of the pain and living a life of victory. But don’t be stingy. Someone will come across your path with a similar lemon. They will be angry, confused and hopeless. Share your glass with encouragement and wisdom. You can be the ice cube that sustains their ability to remain refreshed and inspired.
Philippians 4:6,7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.