When Life Gives You Lemons1
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade.” That’s good advice, but “lemons” are only part of the recipe. You need other ingredients to turn the sour to sweet. The same is true in life!
Chances are good you remember a lot of happy, fun, and exciting times. We like those a lot. But you’ve probably experienced some sad, frustrating, or confusing times where life doesn’t make sense.
Some of those unpleasant occasions are a result of our bad decisions. For example, if you choose to drink and drive, then get arrested, that’s on you! Or, if you drop out of school then can’t make a living wage because you don’t have proper education...that’s a risk you chose to take.
But there are times when bad things happen and you have no control over them. You may have heard of people who who eat right and exercise…but develop cancer. Or you may know someone who worked hard to develop good skills, but still can’t find a job.
I’ve had a few “lemons” in my life. One came when I was fired. I had been elected to pastor a church located hundreds of miles from our home. Our family of four moved to the community, built a house, and settled in. The church grew and we made great friends. Life seemed good!
But a year later the board let me go. Nine people…out of a hundred total…sealed my fate. Their decision came without warning,
Was that fair? I certainly didn’t think so! At the time, I was angry with them and with God. But now I recognize that event as one of the biggest “God moments” of my life! Through that experience I learned that I don’t need the perfect set-up to move forward in life.
In addition to being mad with the world, I wallowed in pity for a while. My heart became hard. It took some time but I came around. I started by allowing God to begin heal my heart. I repented of my angry accusations. I forgave. Then I started looking for new opportunities, and God led me to them!
Many of us blame “less than ideal conditions” for holding us back. Circumstances do influence our lives, but just like lemons are only part of lemonade, circumstances are only part of the recipe of life! God supplies the missing ingredients.
Or to put it another way, God excels in using the worst conditions to catapult you directly into the middle of his plans!
Here’s another thing I learned by being fired: God has an incredible ability to make “something” out of “nothing.”
Things looked pretty bleak the night I was “let go.” I wondered where we would go next, what type of employment I should pursue, and how would we make ends meet.
That was then! Now, I realize God was clearing the way for much greater opportunities.
In his Word God tells us…
“The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.”
– Zephaniah 3:17 (CEV)
Are you currently struggling with life’s “lemons?” God wants to provide “sweetener” so you can make “lemonade” out of them.
Maybe you made some bad decisions, or perhaps you’ve been caught in a “perfect storm” of circumstances that are out of your control. Regardless of how the difficult times came, God can make something great from it.