A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
Proverbs 15:15 MSG
“When life gives you lemons…make lemonade!” How many times have you heard that saying? I have heard it most of my life and I’m not really fond of it. Over my lifetime I have made lemonade many times and drank it too…sometimes without sufficient sugar! Yes, life can get tedious at times and even have a sour taste to it. That is when we have to become resourceful…thus, the lemonade! The degree of sweetness depends on our attitude. If our attitude is sour too, there is no hope for lemonade, only juice that is almost impossible to drink!
When you’re squeezing lemons, do you squeeze out only half the juice and throw the rest away? No, of course not! You squeeze and squeeze until you’ve gotten the last drop of mouth-puckering nectar and when you add the sugar, it’s a refreshing concoction that can hardly be rivaled!
And so it is with life. When we’re young and full of life, hopes and dreams and aspirations, lemonade is not even on the menu! We don’t have to squeeze out the good times, they just happen naturally. We just show up and the party begins! As the old (very old!) song goes… “♫ Those were the days, My Friend! We thought they’d never end ♫…” It’s when the years slip by like a sleuth in the shadows that we start to realize that there is only so much juice left in this fruit of life. Oh my!!! What happened?! Where did the years go? I feel like Rip Van Winkle! Did I sleep through most of them? Somebody pinch me! I must be dreaming! Is that ME in the mirror?! No, It can’t be!
At this point we can do one of two things: We can sit down in a rocking chair on the front porch and watch the rest of life pass us by or we can pick up that blooming lemon and squeeze out every last drop of juice! Now I realize that some folks have physical problems and can’t do that, but as long as my gracious Heavenly Father gives me health and strength, that’s exactly what I’m going to do! And I’ll give Him all the glory!2
Perhaps you can’t do that. Maybe you are confined for one reason or another. Can you move your lips? Then you can pray. Pray with all your might…for our government, for the sick, for the oppressed…I could go on and on. When it is your time to stand before the Heavenly Father, don’t let it be said that you gave up. Let it be known that you squeezed that lemon until there was nothing left but a shriveled rind! Do what you can do. Make the difference you can make in the years you have left. Don’t spend them in anxiety or worry about things that have happened, should happen or could happen! Spend them making things happen. Spend them making good things happen for you and for others!
And if you’re still young, don’t say, “Well, this doesn’t apply to me.” Yes, it does! Learn to be wise sooner than I was. Learn to face life without limiting yourself by small thinking. Have faith in God! Know that He made you unique and wonderful! And most of all, know that it’s never too soon OR too late to pursue the dream that God has put in your heart!
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.
“They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT