Mar 30, 2022 08:00am
What Can You Make With Lemons?

We’ve all heard the phrase “sometimes life gives you lemons . . . ” which is usually followed by “so make lemonade.” 

But here is the problem with that: Lemonade without sugar is sour and sometimes hard to swallow. It’s just lemon water. Depending on how many lemons you’ve been handed compared to the amount of water you’ve added, it’s just lemon juice. Straight lemon juice can pucker your lips and cause your jaws to hurt from the tartness. 

Now, you may be sitting there thinking “but I like lemons”. So do I. They add a nice flavor to my water or tea or even to my cooking. Lemons are also good for your health. They provide a good source of vitamin C and aid in digestion, among many other things. 

Like everything else, though, too much is a bad thing. So what are we supposed to do with all these lemons life keeps giving us? Make something . . . but it doesn’t have to be lemonade! 

There are so many recipes out there using lemons: pies, custards, tarts, cake, and the list goes on. The common ingredient in all of them, besides the lemon, is that is sugar.

Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

You see, many times what we’re enduring in life feels so raw and sour. We look at life and smell the bad or taste the gross aftermath of all that has happened, and what we need is a sweet taste or a sweet odor to overpower it all. 

That’s Jesus. 

People forget that even though we’re a ministry family, we’re also humans who deal with the same lemons as everyone else. We hurt each other and are hurt by others, we cope with lying, relationships, depression, and issues everyone is dealing with. The difference is we struggle with letting others in to see it, because we wonder how anyone could come to us or trust us to give good godly advice if we are struggling too. 

When we went through our teenage daughter’s pregnancy two years ago, we wrestled with letting the “world” in to watch us go through it. Things would have been simpler to pick up and move where no one knew us and deal as a family, but that isn’t what God wanted. He provided the loving people who prayed over us, the scriptures that got us through, and the peace that all would be OK, and that made our lemons into lemonade: aka a beautiful grandbaby who captures us with every smile or laugh.

He was our sugar. He made our situation palatable with sweet words of comfort.

I’m not saying that every situation will turn from a deplorable one into unicorns and rainbows. I still tear up when I talk about that difficult time. The feelings are still raw and the emotions flow freely. Just like losing someone will never be a good thing . . . but God can bring joy and peace through the storm.

Recently I was struggling and cried myself to sleep praying for God’s will, not my own, but woke up every day still struggling. I could have given up and taken things into my own hands, telling God that I didn’t like where He was taking me, but instead I focused on getting into His Word more. I needed to surrender EVERYTHING to Him and accept His plans for my life and not my plans. Letting go of control is one of the hardest things to do.

During this time, we went to a conference with our youth group and sat under a lot of amazing speakers listening to even more amazing truths. God used this week to speak to me, not in the lessons, but in the worship. I nicknamed the worship team “Waiting on Jon” because they don’t have an official name and they were always waiting on their drummer, Jon J.! These young worship leaders sang, prayed, and played their instruments with everything in them, and we just happened to be there to watch and be moved. 

Everything they sang that week seemed to be focused directly at me, but one song in particular forced me to my knees to cry out to God: “More Like Jesus” by Kristian Stanfill is a powerful worship song that became my prayer: “If more of you means less of me, take everything.” 

That line said it all for me, and I realized that in order to fill myself up with more of God, I had to make room by giving Him myself, all of me. I can’t explain the peace that washed over me that week and that I still carry with me today. Daily surrender is hard; it must be a daily, hourly thing to make room for Him.

I don’t know what you have going on in your life today. I don’t know what lemons you’ve been handed. The one thing I do know, though, is where to get the sugar: in God’s Word and prayer. 

So I want to encourage you if there is something in your life right now that you are facing and you just don’t know if you can make it through, or you don’t like the direction God is leading, dig into to His Word and give Him some of yourself. Then there will be room to let Him in and He can make you a sweet, delicious dessert with all those lemons you’ve been handed. 

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