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When Life Gives Lemons...

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

With a title like that, you know this will most likely be about a difficult thing. And if I chose to see it that way, it would be. Lemons... we can find them most every day of our life. I once had a daily "to-do-list" that recommended that there be a "lemon" listed on your list. To have that item you least wanted to do or approach. By themselves, lemons are not that enjoyable. They tend to be bitter. However, add them to something, allow them to be served with a drink, add them to sugar and water, or gently squeezed over a savory dish of grilled fish and POP!!! it adds a burst of flavor and draws something out that was missing before!

I find that life's lemons can do the same thing for you and I. They can add that savor to life. Hear me out on this. Recently I bought a car that was going to be used for our kids to drive around so they would not be driving our nicer vehicles. And you guessed it, the car turned out to be a lemon. No fault of the seller, this car revealed all its bitterness after the purchase! The transfer case decided to drain itself of oil, the rear differential rattled and developed a serious leak like no other, and the car suddenly had an electrical issue that could not be traced but loved to eat up the battery! We had this car for less than two months. We had high hopes for this vehicle to last through each of our kids as they drove... but none the less, we had a genuine lemon! The vehicle worth vs repair cost made the vehicle totaled.

As my wife and I looked at the situation, we laughed in order not to cry. As we sat and talked about what to do we reflected on how this lemon had added some savory seasoning to life...

  • We, in the brief time of owning it, had been able to bless another family with it while they had car repairs, saving them almost two thousand in rental cost!

  • We had been able to be a blessing to the ones we bought it from, helping them be able to upgrade to a larger vehicle for their growing family.

  • On a number of occasions my wife took the smaller vehicle "the lemon" on short trips where she felt more comfortable in something small not as large as our truck.

  • We had the opportunity to pray with the mechanic about the "lemon" situation and see God answer prayer together!

That's right we prayed with our mechanic! It would be awesome to tell you that we laid hands on our car and that God transformed it into a sweet juicy orange or apple... but this would not be the case. He rather confirmed it was a true lemon and that we needed to part from it as soon as we could. God opened the door for us to sell it to a dealership. They wanted our lemon even after inspecting it and even offered us more than what we were expecting! (We did not make any money on this deal, but our losses were minimal). God used our lemon for His glory!

I find it very interesting that in some of Paul's hardest times (seasons of lemons)... he writes the letter of Philippians. In this letter Paul addresses joy and rejoicing more than any other letter he wrote! In Philippians 4:4 he says "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!" It is in the bitter times we are to look to the Lord all the more. We allow Him to take what is bitter and season our life, we allow Him to show us how good and savory His grace, faithfulness, and mercy taste in those times! Those things God renders to us would not have the same POP without the bitterness we go through.

Next time life throws you "lemons", remember God may be allowing it so you can savor some other amazing aspect of life just a little bit more!

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