A few weeks ago, I was reflecting on situations I have been facing. And in truth, I was upset that things weren’t going as I had planned. I continued to have my selfish attitude as I drove to work. My selfish attitude blamed God for not doing things the way I wanted. Oh, how my gentle Savior works to sweetly yet firmly rebuke me for my folly. The Holy Spirit began to stir up this verse in my heart. Matthew 5:13-14 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” It was in that moment as pulled into my familiar spot at work that this question was whispered in my heart.
“Jen, do you want salt with your lemons?”
“Salt with my lemons, Lord?”
I think one of the most popular sayings when hard times come is: “When life hands you a lemon make lemonade.” I want to make the comparison that trials in our lives are like lemons. I believe that God wants to use each and every trial and temptation to make us to be salt and light in this world. Proverbs 17:3 says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” God wants to use the hard times in our lives to refine us and to purify us. When we complain and fight against what God is doing, He cannot use us. James 1:2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.”
That day as I drove into work, I wasn’t letting the joy of the Lord be my strength. Instead I was angry and upset that God had me here while my family is in Arizona. For whatever reason God wanted me to stay and at first I was all right with that fact. After all, I had my dad telling me he would return in November. I wouldn’t have to worry about where I would stay after my lease is up in December. I wouldn’t have to worry when my car stalls in the middle of street, because my family would be near. “But the Lord trieth the hearts.” You see, God has to take my family away from me, so that I will be willing to depend on God. I know I am where God wants me. But if I kick and fight and cry and whine, I maybe where God wants me but I won’t be in His will because my heart isn’t in it. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” You might recognize this verse from Sunday School. The past few weeks the messages have been so along the lines of what the Lord has been showing me. Isn’t it awesome when God puts it all together?
I don’t know what you may be facing. It may be a trial or temptation that you feel it is too hard to bear. You might feel that it’s not fair. You might question why God is putting you through this circumstance. Please don’t live under your circumstances, it is a dark and bitter place there. God has such a wonderful light that can shine through us, if we let him polish us up so that we are able to shine.
A few years ago, my sister Joycelin drew me this picture. It is of girl on her knees begging God for souls with tears. As her tears fall onto the World, little rays of light begin to shine. The thought this picture is trying to convey is that as we pray for others and as we pray for laborers God’s light shines. I would like to encourage you to first pray for others and for God’s light to shine through you, and then look for opportunities to let it shine! Just like the little children’s song “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” That song also goes on to say “Don’t let Satan blow it out.” Maybe, we need to start by not letting Satan blow out our light.
We all have lemons in our lives. That’s a given fact. The question is do you want salt with your lemons?
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