Sour Lemonade

We all have been deceived into believing one of Satan’s biggest lies, that this life, we have been given, is suppose to be easy and pain free.  Its funny to me that the man that is in fact causing us hardships and pain, is also the one that is telling us we are to be living with out it.  Why?  His greatest tool at steering God’s army in the wrong direction is deception.  He desires to deceive us so that we began to believe the lie that God is not here for us and He is not with us. We begin to develop this mentality that we deserve a better life.  Possibly, a life that is guided by ourselves because we believe that we can do it better than God.

Through out my life I have heard the phrase, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  Meaning, when life throws you a curveball, turn it around and make something sweet.  From as early as I can remember I have created great plans for my life.  Such as, “I will put on the most beautiful dress and go to the school dance.  When I get there, that boy I’ve had my eye on for weeks,  will see me and ask me to dance.” And, “I will have the most beautiful wedding and then have all the beautiful babies exactly two years apart.  They will be perfect, my marriage will be perfect and I will be an amazing stay at home mom.”  Or, “I will go to this great school, graduate and immediately, get this successful job where everyone admires me.”  So many plans, perfect plans that I never doubted wouldn’t come true.  I marched forward with my head held high ready to tackle each plan head-on. Until I hit a road block. A pile of sour lemons stood in my way of greatness.  The beautiful dress ripped and the boy was dancing with another girl, it rained on my wedding day and I couldn’t stay pregnant and my perfectly planned out marriage was falling apart before my eyes. The diploma never came and I began hearing no after no  and it took a toll on my spirit. I saw success get further and further away from my grip.  These road blocks began to cause me to question my faith.  I began asking God some serious questions. “Why are You causing this?” “Why can’t You make this happen?”  “Can’t You stop this from happening?”  And I said, “This isn’t suppose to be this way!”  “This isn’t how I planned it.”  These were all my plans, my ideas and my ways.  Not His.  And I had been deceived into thinking my plan was the way and it was suppose to work out perfectly, seamlessly and pain free.  What were these roadblock that were in front of me?  They were not suppose to be there, the path should have been clear. I wondered what would I do with all these lemons? I knew these road blocks could be just that, a block, or I can turn them into something.  It was my choice and my choice alone.

I decided to take these road blocks and offer them up to God.  I dropped my hands to my side and my knees hit the ground.  “I am yours God, guide my steps.”

So I got up and began to take those sour lemons that were put in front of me and turn them into the sweetest lemonade I had ever tasted.  I took out the sharpest knife, sliced each lemon and squeezed all the juice I could out of each one.  I had enough juice to make a tall glass of lemonade.  I added just enough water and sugar as directed, then topped it off with a few ice cubes.  Finally, I grabbed my hard work and carried it out to the front porch that over looked the rolling hills.  I sat down in my favorite rocking chair and closed my eyes as I listened to the birds singing.  The gentle breeze blew a few strands across my face and as I wiped them away from my eyes, I took my first drink of  goodness.  The lemonade barely made it into my mouth before I was spitting it out onto the porch floor.  It was utterly disgusting and the bitterness made my face shrink up into a million wrinkles.  I tossed the glass in anger and shouted, “Why isn’t this sweet? It’s suppose to be sweet! I hate this lemonade.”

I soon realized that this lemonade recipe was not given to me by my Creator.  It was given to me by the king of deception and he forged God’s signature.  This recipe guaranteed that if I add all the ingredients, do exactly what it says, it will create pure goodness.  And when the lemonade tasted sour the enemy knew who I would blame.  It wasn’t going to be him, it was going to be God.  Road block after road block I began repeating the same steps, getting the exact same results and wondering what I was doing wrong and why God was doing this to me.  I was doing exactly what the recipe said, I was saying yes to God.  I was taking my plan and making it His, why wasn’t this good.  Why was I still in pain?

Each big “YES” I said to God turned into an expectation that my life would be easy and good.  I wouldn’t have to worry about being in pain because I was on the “right” path.  I believed the lie that I had sacrificed my plan for His and I deserved something better.  I deserved to be lifted up from the pain and suffering and be acknowledged for my greatness.

Oh bless my heart.  What was I saying?  Was this really coming out of my mouth? Through the centuries of Christ followers has anyone ever gone through this life with out pain and suffering?  No!  But the king of deception makes you forget that, why? So that you and I become entitled little brats. Yes. Entitled brats don’t think of anyone else but themselves and that was what I was becoming or had become.

I was standing on that porch cursing the glass of lemonade when I was hit across my thick skull with the hard truth.  This world has not been with out pain and suffering since the fall of man.  And since that time we have been at war with the one who seeks after each of us to deny the truth.  When I realized the truth, the thought of who I had become began crushing to my soul and I fell to my knees.  My hands covered my face as they filled up with with my salted tears of surrender.  As I continued to weep I heard a whisper pass by my ear, “Let us try this again. Bring your tears.”  I walked back into the kitchen and He told me to pour my tears in to the tall glass pitcher.  Reluctantly, I did and together we began slicing and squeezing lemon juice into the pitcher.  Then, He pulled something from his pocket and squeezed the contents into our creation.  It looked like pure gold.  He motioned for me to take a taste and I didn’t hesitate.  I let the goodness hit my finger and gently raised it to my mouth.  The sweet taste of peace washed over my whole body and I had to shut my eyes for a second.  When I opened them again He was handing me a cold glass a lemonade.  With excitement I took my first sip and it was the sweetest lemonade I had ever tasted.  We walked out to the front porch together and sat in the rocking chairs next to one another.  I looked at Him and said, “Thank you.” He smiled gently and looked back out into the rolling hills.

Life will always bring us road blocks that will pile up in front of us.  It is up to us what we will do with those road blocks.  Who are we going to listen to?  What recipe are we going to follow? The sour one or the sweet one?  When we surrender ourselves to God and declare His truth, the enemy will have no hold on us.  We need to lay down the lies and pick up Gods word and speak it from our mouths. That is the weapon that will win the battle and make this life good.  God is with us always and will never leave our side in times of pain.  Grab tight to that liquid gold and let His peace and love run all over you.

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