I love lemons. Along with just about any kind of berries, lemons have always been a favorite of mine. I love them enough that I eat them like others will eat oranges. I love the tart, sour taste, and that makes me unusual I guess. Most people won’t eat lemons plain. They may add a slice to their ice water or ice tea. They will add a lot of water and sugar and make refreshing lemonade. They’ll may squeeze a wedge over some grilled fish. But, most of the time, when someone bakes with lemon, they will add lots of sugar to make lemon cake, lemon bars, or lemon meringue pie. People don’t like sour, they like sweet.
Life is not always sweet, sometimes it is outright sour when things get tough. You hit a rocky patch and the smooth roads are not in sight. You find that are in a season in your life that you don’t want to be in, things are happening that you don’t want to happen. I’ve been there, and although I like sour tasting things such as lemon, I am not too fond of things turning sour in my life. I don’t think that many people want the sour or bitter times.
Back after my brother died, the very last of my immediate family (with the exception of my son, with whom I was, estranged at the time – and would be for three additional years), things were very tight. I had cashed in all my retirement to take care of my brother, who was dying from ALS, and after he died, I was left with pretty much nothing to sustain me. My professional prospects were far from good, as the area just wasn’t the right fit for my skill set.
A friend of my brother, a woman who was in love with my brother, offered for me to come and stay with her. She had always wanted a sister and I guess that I was the next best thing. With the prospects not good where I was living, I moved all the way across the country in hopes of a fresh start. I looked for work, and had a very difficult time, trying to find something in my professional field. I venture that my age had something to do with it. Then the relationship with this woman, got really rocky. In hindsight, I realize that she was bi-polar. She had invited me into her home when she was in a manic phase, perhaps out of some sort of misguided promise to my brother. She turned on me during one of the several depressive phases that she went through when I was there. She came home one day after leaving for the weekend, and told me that I had two weeks to get out of her home.
I was pretty much out of money, and really devastated. I reached out to extended family for advice. I ended up accepting an invitation to once again move across country some 800 miles away to an area in which I never lived. My life seemed to have spiraled out of control. And I entered into probably one of the most desperate times of my life. It was really tough time, in which I couldn’t sleep, and couldn’t eat. I lost a lot of weight. And, I cried out to God continually. The book of Psalms was my constant companion, as I tried to make sense out of what was happening in my life.
I’ve always known that God has been there for me, guiding me, loving me, bringing me to the place that He wanted me to be. But, what I didn’t realize was that He was bringing me to a greater place of dependence upon Him. He was orchestrating something great, something wonderful. God had a big blessing waiting for me, I just had to hang on and make it through. And, even though I didn’t like what I was experiencing, I was leaning heavily and trusting God.
God brought me the man that he had chosen for me. Which was very interesting, because I was convinced that I never wanted to marry again. God, however had plans otherwise. I fell in love with my husband. God supplied me a professional position, in my field of expertise, at a very prominent place. We got married, and I am now living a life in which I feel that I am truly blessed.
When I reflect just how richly God has blessed me, I know that I can look at that particular point in my life and repeat the words that Joseph said to his brothers: Genesis 50:20a, ESV: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”
God will never ever leave you, or abandon you. When it feels like you’ve entered into the wilderness and that there doesn’t seem to be much hope, God is there. He’s walking that rocky path right along side of you. Hang on and trust that He will remove the sour from your life, and replace it with His perfect sweetness.
Romans 8:28, ESV: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”