Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Lemons for His Lemonade

                I found myself singing a song this morning as I went into my time of prayer. The song is “Hallelujah” by Heather Williams. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX2uM0L3Y1A  As the song was playing through my heart and mind, life started to throw lemons at me. One thing after another began to fall. First a few lemons hit me, then the whole bag came crashing in. I began to get frustrated, and I began to get upset at the way things were falling apart all around me and there was nothing I could do about it. I put down my prayer journal and my pen and went to YouTube, there was a reason why the song “Hallelujah” was going through my heart, and I believed the Lord was speaking to me through it.
              
  As I listened to the song, I realized that no matter how many lemons life throws at me, my God can make the sweetest lemonade out of them all. No matter what I am going through, no matter if I am on the mountain top or in the valley, my God is reason enough to sing “Hallelujah”. The word Hallelujah means “praise ye Jehovah”. It means to praise, to give thanks, to sing to Him, to worship Him, to adore Him for who He is. My day was crashing in on me, and the lemons were piling up, but my God said to me, “Give me your lemons and I will make you lemonade.”
                “Praise ye the Lord, praise ye the Lord, O my soul.” (Psalm 146:1 KJV)
                Is there anything in life that is too hard for the Lord to handle? As I listened to the song I was also reminded of Romans 8:28; “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purposes.” Our God is sovereign. Do we realize that nothing happens to us by chance? The lemons that are thrown at us are given to us so that we can give them back to God and receive from Him the greatest, sweetest tasting lemonade. God is able to manage every aspect of our lives to work for His glory and our good. There is nothing that our God cannot handle.
                Even though we face trials, sufferings, pain, hopelessness, and the lemons of life, He is able to take them all and make them work for our good. What did He promise us in Jeremiah 29:11? He promises us that His thoughts toward us are “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” There are no lemons in this life that can be thrown at us that God doesn’t have a plan for. He may not make you lemonade, but instead He may make you a lemon meringue pie. The point is not to focus on the lemons but on what He is making from them.

                As I find these lemons of life being thrown at me, I am reminded to remember the promises that He has given me. To remember His promises to take my ashes and make them beautiful, to take my tears and turn them to joy, to take my sorrow and turn it to praise. (Isaiah 61:3) I am reminded that no matter what comes at me, no matter who it comes from, I can sing “Hallelujah” I can praise Jehovah for who He is, and for the work that He is doing on my behalf.
                Life is not easy. Many of us think that when we become Christians life will become a bed of roses, that we will never feel pain, loss, grief, suffering and that we will never have to face the trials or the lemons life will throw at us. But God does not promise us that our lives with Him will be easy. In fact, He promises that in this life we will trials and tribulations (John 16:33) but He also follows that with the fact that we have Him, and in Him we have peace.
               The reason why we can sing “Hallelujah” in the midst of trials and tribulations is because we know who our God is. We believe He is Sovereign. We believe that He is with us. We believe that He is God of all our circumstances, and we believe that He is working all these lemons out for our benefit and for His glory. Over the years I have found that no matter what is going on in my life or around me, I can sing praise to Him. I can thank Him for His love, His grace, His mercy, His Salvation, His help, and His presence. Life will throw us lemons my friends, there is no denying that. But, if we can focus on the lemonade instead of the lemons then we too will be able to sing “Hallelujah” even as the lemons are being thrown at us.

             
   I do not know what you are going through right now, but God knows. And His promises to you are true, they are sure, you can stand upon them and you can praise Him through it all. After I gave Him the lemons this morning, He began working it all out, and now, I am singing and praising Him for His never ending, always faithful love, and I can now sing as loud as possible, “Hallelujah!”  No matter the size of the lemons, take comfort that God is working them to turn them into the sweetest, most precious lemonade you have ever tasted. It may seem hopeless, but our God promises that He desires only to give us a future and a hope; He promises that He is working on your behalf to make all these lemons into lemonade. May the God of peace surround you today, may His grace fill you and may you and I together sing, “Hallelujah” as our God makes us lemonade. To Jesus be the glory, forever and ever:  Amen and Amen.