When Life Gives You Lemons:
We have all heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This is one of the most motivating sayings about not being content with what life throws at you, but rather turn it into something new. As Christians we have to do this daily. The world we live in is full of people who are lemons, or people who are lost and do not yet know about what their true potential is. The commission of Christ was for us to go out and find those people, show them their potential, train them up, and send them out to do the same. (Matthew 28:16-20) The image of real transformation when a lemon becomes lemonade is inspirational. Lemonade is not made with the skin of a lemon, but rather with the core, with what is on the inside of the lemon. This is the exact same transformation we have when we become believers. Christ doesn’t worry about the skin or the exterior of a believer, He is in the business of using our core, our heart, and our character to make something new out of us.
Now this idea of becoming lemonade when we were once lemons is great, but it makes it seem as though lemonade is all we can become. This is far from the truth. We should all desire to be transformed into something new and that transformation could be any multitude of things in the same way a lemon can be used for many other things besides lemonade. What are some other uses of lemons? You can make lemon wedges to be put in tea or water to add flavor. You can make lemon slices to be put with a nice fish meal, or use them to decorate a center piece for your dining-room table. These are just a few ways to use a lemon. If we assume that there is only one way to be used in God’s kingdom we are putting limitations on His authority and power. He may have a number of ways He plans to use you just as master chef has a number of ways to use a lemon. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 tells us a handful of the ways God may choose to use us. We can be a person who is content with having one single use, or we can be a person willing to accept the gifts God has given us and become a multi-purpose tool for bringing glory to His kingdom.
What kind of lemon are you? Are you willing to use the gifts God has given you to be a better witness for Him? Or do find yourself being content storing up those gifts and never letting them transform you into what God has created you to be.
Before you dive into this blog post I want to reassure you that it is not going to be three or four paragraphs of me complaining about stuff. I understand the title may lead you to think that, but by the end of reading this post I am sure you see that is not our goal. Without further ado, lets jump right into it!
Since the start of the new year, I have been asked many times if I know the “why” behind what it is I do at camp, what it is we do at camp, and what I am doing in my personal walk with Christ. This all started when Alan came back from a meeting one day and told me about a video Phil Young (our Director of Mission) had shown them. It was a video about “knowing your why” where Christian comedian and public speaker Michael Jr. uses a crowd member to show the entire audience at one of his shows how important it is to know why you are doing what you are doing before you get caught up in the what’s, how’s, when’s, and where’s. (I highly recommend you watch this video if you have not ever seen it! Just google Michael Jr. Knowing your why!) During the video, Michael Jr. asks a gentleman in the audience, who happens to be a music teacher, to sing a few bars of Amazing Grace. The guy crushes it, but Michael Jr. looks at him when he is done and asks him to sing it again. This time he request that the gentleman sing it as if he just lost a loved one, was recently relieved from prison, etc.(sing from past traumatic experiences), and when the gentleman knows the why behind his singing of Amazing Grace it takes the song to a whole different level that will send goose bumps up your arm. This idea of knowing why you do something gives it more power because you have an intimate desire to do it now is a reality that we as Christians miss out on. Don’t continue to miss out on having powerful and impactful what’s. how’s, when’s, and where’s because you don’t truly understand your why!
When I was presented with this challenge to figure out what my why was it really got me thinking. I realized that for most of my proclaiming Christian life I had been working off the wrong why. Here are just a few examples:
The final why is for why we do what we do here at camp. Of course we want to provide a place for kids to come in the summer to create lifelong memories and make lifelong friends, but our actual why is not to get caught up in lifelong things but rather eternal things. We do what we do so that kids can have an opportunity to meet Christ! We do what we do so that kids who don’t see and feel love on a day to day basis can see, feel, and understand that real love comes from Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross. Our why can be wrapped up in one sentence: Every child deserves a chance to meet the God who created them in His image; a chance to know about His love; a chance to know about Christ's sacrifice; and a chance to start a relationship with Him that will last for an eternity!