Monday, May 15, 2017

Counting Lemons

"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: 
thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness..." 
Psalms 30:11


They have a reputation for being sour. Tasting a lemon often results in a grimace on ones face. How many times have we sat across the table from a little boy or girl and laughed at their response to being "treated" to a lemon? 

We don't usually like sour things, do we? 

Sometimes I get side-tracked when things in life begin to go hay-wire. Do you? Maybe it starts with something seemingly small and even insignificant, which might leave me feeling small and insignificant. It shouldn't "break" me down; yet, there I am...responding to the sour taste in my mouth. Hey, I'll be the first to admit, I don't always pass the tests first time around. 

There comes a time, after what seems like continual flying lemons for days, when I feel myself start to weaken and buckle under the weight of it all. Ever been there? I'm sure if you're reading this, you have. It happens to us all at one time or another. The tears flow like rivers. Our hearts hurt. We don't understand. Maybe we want to fight, or perhaps run away and hide. I tend to do the latter. No, I'm not proud of the fact, that's just how I respond more often than not. The Lord's working on me!

It happens somewhere between a meltdown and when I begin to let the Lord step in to comfort me and help me look at things from a different perspective. Somewhere along the way I must choose to do something with those lemons which are making my day miserable and leaving me with a grimace on my own face...and like it.

During those weak moments, the enemy adds fuel to the fire - often leaving us feeling rejected and unloved. All lies! Yes, he's super-good at throwing out his own arsenal of lemon-bombs. It's the "kick 'em while they're down" concept. And, although we know better; sometimes we fall for his tricks - yes, in spite of knowing the truth. 

So what do you do with all those lemons you're left holding? We all know the answer to that age old question: we make lemonade. Or lemon something. Anything! Will it be easy? No, I'm not saying it will be easy-peasy to squeeze those lemons into something good. It takes time and effort to juice a lemon! Anything is possible with the Lord though. Right?! Somewhere between the meltdown and standing tall again, we must allow the Lord to wrap us up. He doesn't like for us to hurt or to think of ourselves as "less than" - especially since He's proven otherwise many, many times. 

I was thinking about the lemon Mary and Martha dealt with when Lazarus died. What a sour moment for them! Jesus came on the scene and wept with them, but then said, "Take ye away the stone." (John 11:39) Yes, He turned their sour situation into a sweet delight. He turned their grief and mourning into dancing, laughter and joy. He can do the same thing with our lemons too, my friend. It is His desire and good pleasure.

He'll never sit across the table from us and laugh at our response to something that seems to take our breath away.

What's better than lemonade on a hot, humid, summer day? Can't you just envision that large, cold glass of pale-yellow, refreshing, deliciousness? It can't happen without those sour lemons we'd rather not deal with! When it feels like there aren't many blessings to count...we can begin again by counting lemons.

Dear God -
During those less-than-desirable
moments in life, when I'm not holding it
together too well, please hold me close
and help me deal with the lemons -
until you've stepped in and
made something better
out of them.
Help me to remember, I can
always count on You!