Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Lemons of Life

How would you react if you called in a prescription refill at a pharmacy two days earlier and when you arrive it's not ready? Then you're told it will be available in a few minutes, but you spend your entire lunch hour waiting and it's still not ready. Maybe you have to spend several frustrating evenings on the phone to get a simple satellite TV problem fixed. Perhaps you have worked all day, then go to the grocery store in 105 degree heat, accompanied by high humidity, and when you arrive home you are missing a bag of your items. These inevitable, irritating happenings of life are the "lemons of life." The above list represents some of my recent "lemons."

Someone is always watching our reactions, particularly when we label ourselves as Christians. Obviously, if we are parents, our children pay close attention to our behavior. I did not exhibit a good reaction on the day it was 105 degrees and came home from the grocery store missing a bag. In short, I had quite a fit and lost my control. I still remember the look on my son's face as I furiously ranted about the inconvenience of the situation. On the way home from the store the second time, this verse came to my mind: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV. The realization came to me that I should be thankful I had a car to get to the store, had the money to purchase what we needed, and was able to walk in the store and get the items. As I reflected on these things, my control returned, I felt peaceful once again, and was able to come home a rational human being. Perhaps one reason the Lord tells us to give thanks in all circumstances is to center our minds when our reactions to events cause us to be off balance and/or out of control.

Sometimes,our "lemons of life" linger and are more conspicuous. I recall a few years ago having my hair colored the night before leaving for a family vacation and ending up with a hideous head of black, blond, brown, and red hair instead of brown and blond. (The stylist tried to fix it, but said that was all she could do without my hair breaking off!) After successfully ruining most of the vacation for everyone with my incessant complaining, my mother finally remarked: "Maybe you should be thankful you have hair. Why don't you think about the cancer patients who have lost their hair! It's just hair - it will grow!" Those statements not only humbled me, but also refocused my perspective. There is something to be thankful for in all situations!

We are instructed, in part, in 1 Peter 1:13 to be "self-controlled" and are to live by the Spirit according to Galatians 5:16. Patience and self-control are included in the list of fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. We can't be a good witness with flaring impatience and a lack of self-control. In addition, we should avoid constant complaining about our lingering "lemons," so we do not make life miserable for those around us. The "lemons of life" will always come, but if we can pause, relax, and find something, however small, to be thankful for we may keep ourselves and others from getting sour.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Colossians 3:12-13 NIV

This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays at


  1. What a great post! At times we are definately a "sour-puss." So it is good to have that reminder of Colossians. You are so right about people watching us... they want to know how we will react in certain situations because of our faith. Happy Spiritual Sunday!

  2. Love the post! Thank you so much for sharing this with us
    Sometimes we forget that God is still in control. He will meet us where ever we are and walk us through the storms of life. This life is not meant to be perfect and we always have to remember to call on Him.
    Joy & Blessings,

  3. I am SOOOOO glad God directed me to find you - another single mom faithfully following Christ's directives!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! I can SO identify with this post. (right now as my "blessing" is aggravating the be-gee-bees outta me to help him with some XBox/Netflix issue!)

    Cannot wait to read more of your blog & follow. Please come by mine & follow as well. Somehow I imagine we have MUCH to share.

    Sending you sugar for the lemonade you're making ;o} ~ Merana

  4. Great post! When we can look at our actions objectively and place God's perspective over it, we can get a little different picture. Yes, thankful for hair--

    I got my hair colored just day before yesterday and my stylist who normally does a fantastic job, did not do her best. She tried to correct it and it is better but I need to learn to keep my priorities in line and this post sure helped. Thank you so much!

  5. I can sure relate to this post. Life is full of lemons and I don't always react by making lemonade. Thank you for sharing with us. It reminds me of a time we stopped by the grocery store on the way home from somewhere just to buy a loaf of bread. When we got home, it was nowhere to be found. We left it in the grocery store. Neither one of us thought to pick it up and carry it to the car. We had a good laugh about it but it was annoying. Made us think we were getting old. LOL

  6. I needed to read this right now, thank you!!

  7. I hopped over here from Quiet Ministries. I'm so glad I did.

    Sometimes I also find myself complaining (more accurately perhaps...whining!) over silly aggravations, or focused on "lemons" that won't go away.
    What a good message you have reminded me of - to center myself with gratitude, and with the Word of God!


  8. Great post... Don't we all need this reminder from time to time.

    Linda J

  9. Great post. I don't always give thanks "in all things." Help me, Lord. ;-)

  10. Counting blessings is the way to gratitude. Loved this.

  11. Hi,

    I'm Yoli from Apron Senorita. I'm coming through from Spiritual Sunday. I am also a single mom, making it by the grace of God. We all have those moments of frustration. Life with lemons just gives us the opportunity to make sweet lemonade.

    My aunt has cancer ans started to lose her hair. A few weeks ago I helped her cut off the rest of her hair. She said it was the most difficult part of her cancer because her hair was so much part of her identity. For me it was emotional to see her go through that but I also learned so much from her strength and courage. God is taking good care of her. Her chemotherapy is working and we pray that she will continue her healing journey.

    As a single mother I'm here for you in friendship and prayer.

    Yoli :)

  12. Thank you for adding a new perspective to my lemons today. :-)

  13. What a great post! Our Sermon this week was on toxic Words ~

    The pastor shared whenever he has a positive thought he always always speaks it out but also shared that learning to tame his words on a negative thought or situation was not quite so easy!

    Great post! Thank you for sharing and causing us to ponder and to always be thankful no matter what!

  14. Great post with great illustrations that we can learn from. Thank you.

  15. THis is such a good post....I catch myself complaining too often and need to remind myself to be thankful in all circumstances....So true we can find something good in every situaion.....

  16. GGreat post! We all have those Lemon moments or months in our life. Blessings. Debbie

  17. I am so glad you stopped by my blog and I came here to read your post . I needed to read this today .Thanks so much for this encouraging post.
    Hugs & Blessings,

  18. In situations like this the old enemy comes and points a finger at us whereas God comes and lifts us up and give us the opportunity to take that leap of faith from unbelief to belief and that speaks a lot to those around us.