Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Making lemonade

I'm generally not a "life gives you lemons, make lemonade" sort of person. I have to try real hard at it. In the scheme of things, my life is extremely blessed. I know this. Though my hard providences now include things like how to have the energy to clean the kitchen, fold all the clothes, get the kids to bed, break up the arguments, all in a span of 2 hours-- and by myself-- I realize my life is not "hard", it's "challenging". See.. I just made lemonade!

God calls us to be faithful in the little things. So I try. I know His purpose is much greater and I am much the better for it if I obey Him. It's the way these things go. I know it's easy to say "make lemonade" in blessed circumstances such as mine, but try to tell that to someone whose child is diagnosed with leukemia, or to a wife who knows she will lose her husband to cancer in 3 years or less.

It is here where we say, "And we know that in ALL things, God works for good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose." That's God's way of saying...I'll make lemonade.

Because, you see, if we are being obedient, and our path is still long and hard, it doesn't mean we need to give up, complain, or eat the lemons. If we try to weasel our way out of obedience because it's hard, then Satan just laughs at our attempts at making lemonade. We shouldn't do that. It's God's business...His recipe.

I don't know what the future holds for me. I'm sure it could hold harder things. I'm not so sure I like that, but what I am sure of is He works all things for good. In the little, the big...all of it.

"But before I go I want once more to tell you how good He is, how blessed it is to suffer with Him, how infinitely happy He has made me in the very hottest heat of the furnace. It will strengthen you in your trials to recall this my dying testimony. There is no wilderness so dreary but that His love can illuminate it, no desolation so desolate but that He can sweeten it. I know what I am saying. It is no delusion. I believe that the highest, purest happiness is known only to those who have learned Christ in sickrooms, in poverty, in painful suspense and anxiety, amid hardships, and at the open grave. Yes, the radiant face, worn by sickness and suffering, but radiant still, said in language yet more unspeakably impressive, 'To learn Christ, that is life!' "
~Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

(place your name in a drawing for this book here. )


Anonymous said...

I thought it was time for lunch ideas? (kidding!). Thank you for the eternal perspective. Mary Brooke

Andrea said...

Yeah, it's like crickets!!

AIMEE said...

I needed this today. I just found out that a dear long-time friend's little girl died yesterday in her mama's arms. This same friend lost her first born 5 years ago to a random disease that came out of nowhere. I have to trust that God has some mighty sweet lemonade planned for them, because it's so hard to grieve and watch this kind of pain. (she has 2 healthy other littles that are 5 and 9 mon. old).

:..Rebekah..: said...

I think of this alot. I know that at this point in my life I haven't learned Christ in this kind of way because I've not suffered or been through the wilderness in ways that others have, such as death, poverty, or persecution. As you said, I'm sure my future could, and probably will, hold harder things because that's life here on earth. But even though I'm not suffering at this moment, my mind is very often on people who are. I know of a family who lost their 14 yr old daughter 2 days ago to an unexpected illness. I also know of another woman who's father is dying of cancer and only has days or weeks to live. I want to know what I can do as others are experiencing sorrow. I feel like I should share in it with them in some way (of course, the Word teaches this; to help share one anothers sorrows and burdens), but I don't know specific ways to this besides prayer (which is the most important thing), yet I long to do practical and tangible things. I often feel drawn to people who are sorrowful, and I've been asking God to show me what I can do.

I know this is long, but you've really touched on something close to my heart here, and although I'm at a time of blessing in my life as you are, I don't want to forget those who are sorrowful or suffering right now, at this time in their lives. Anyway, thanks for this post and for letting me get my thoughts out (I hope they made sense).

Kate said...

It's been a while, dear one! :) I keep checking back with you...I think about how it was last year this time that we met via the blog party at 5M4M (right?) and it's that time again...I am so glad to read this post of yours today. It's so good and so true...I had forgotten how much I like that book! Thanks for sharing and being you! :D Have a blessed day!!

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Ann V.@HolyExperience said...

Radical, that: the highest, purest happiness is known *only* to those who have learned Christ in sickrooms, in poverty, in suspense, anxiety, hardships, and at the open grave...

To meet Him there and see His face and be forever changed.

I want that kind of happiness.

Thank you, Andrea... Keep encouraging us to flourish. (Happy 2nd!)