Lemons…can they become sweet?
Just this week my husband and I went to our polling place to vote in the primary elections. We were hopeful a few different measures would get the yes vote…only to discover the results were opposite of our hopes. As I was contemplating the voting results, I had a few thoughts on the matter.
My initial thought was, well…that’s where our world is headed, it is no surprise the votes turned out as they did. I mean, the Bible says that those on the earth will walk further away from the Lord and turn away from Him. Now I tend to look on the more realistic side of things, but sometimes I try to keep myself from just that point of view. And so, after this first thought, I got after myself…thinking that hey, that’s probably a negative way to think and it almost sounds as if I have given up hope. That’s not how I should think. I should be saddened that people are voting against allowing people to freely express they’re faith in public.
Then, after contemplating what my friends might say to counter my initial thoughts, it hit me…that my realistic thought process was one that the Lord gave me for a reason. It was as if the Lord made me REALLY think about what I had first thought. He showed me that throughout history, when the freedom to worship Him has been squished, it ends beautifully. WHAT?!? Did I really say that it’s a good thing?!? Yes…I did. Why?
This is why…the harder those on earth make it for Jesus Name to be proclaimed, the hungrier (spiritually speaking) people become. They seek out “something” to fulfill that hunger, and Jesus is always there waiting. Think about it…how many areas of the earth now is worshipping God restricted? How many stories have you heard coming out of those areas of His church of believers growing because people are hungry? I’ve heard so many I can’t even keep them all straight! And it’s encouraging, and gives me hope!
I reminds me of lemons. Most people think lemons are sour…too sour (I say most because it turns out my brother and I are an exception to that rule…we previously held lemon eating contests). Just like those lemons, it seems like our situation is hopeless and our freedom to proclaim Jesus name is slowly becoming a sour situation. But, just like lemons…it’s what we make of the situation.
Example, when we have lemons…we use them to add cooking flavor, or make a juicy, satisfying glass of home-squeezed lemonade…which is sweet to taste. Just like that glass of lemonade…our situation may seem sour, but we can turn it into a sweet situation by recognizing that those around us are becoming hungrier for Jesus in their lives, and we have the opportunity to share it with them. Now I’d call that turning a sour situation into a sweet opportunity that glorifies God.
After this long thought process, I realized that REAL lemonade is so much better than the artificial stuff. Just like a REAL God is so much better than all of those alternatives. And just like REAListic view is better than hoping for a different situation. What we see is what we get…and if we choose not to see something around us, physically or spiritually, we are missing something, or missing out on an opportunity. So, instead of hoping for what is not here, why don’t we hope in the Lord and trust His goodness….
And…take those lemons to make lemonade…it’ll be a pretty tasty treat on a hot summer day, or in a heated, sour situation!
“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well-known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and the most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” Philippians 1:12-14
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; there-fore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and the afflictions which you endure. This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgement so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.” -2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
*Check out all of Philippians 1 and all of 2 Thessalonians for more on the spreading of God’s word. Those are a few among the MANY places in the Bible God’s word is spoken of spreading! And before you sit down to read, grab a glass of lemonade to remind you of how He turns a sour situation into a sweet one 😉