James 1:2-4 – Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. (MSG)
My almost-two-year-old great-nephew, Levi, is a curious tot. Knowing that, it was only natural for him to reach for a slice of the lemons that the waitress had put on the table. Immediately, several adult hands reached out to stop Levi's small fingers from grasping one.
It was too late. Within a few seconds, he had taken the lemon and stuck it in his mouth. As if on cue, his small lips puckered, his eyes squinted, and he took the lemon out of his mouth. Then, something happened that I didn't expect: Levi began to smile. He took the lemon in his hand and put it on his tongue, slowly licking it, shaking his head as if to rid it of the sour taste. In time, the lemon did lose its sour taste, and Levi was no worse for the wear.
Life is not promised to be full of sweetness, but God does promise us that if we hang in there, He "plans to prosper you and not to harm you". (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
So when life hands us "lemons", instead of fretting and fearing, let us think of each lemon as a gift from God — a gift that brings us to the realization that without God, we are nothing.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for the "lemons" we face in life. Thank You for helping us to see that in time, if we hang in and trust in You, the sourness we are going through will disappear. Amen.