By Sarah N.

What does Making Lemonade mean to me? It means not giving up on God. I was at the art museum the other day and I saw this painting by Jamie Wyeth. Up close it appeared to be an unremarkable mess. However when I stood back and looked at the big picture I could see it was a masterpiece created by a skilled artist. That’s how I picture my life in the hands of my God.

To me, making lemonade means to proactively seek to identify God’s goodness in every circumstance. To cultivate an attitude of gratitude. To surrender my will and move forward in faith. Not to hold my joy, love, acts of service, and acts of obedience hostage to my desired outcome in every situation.

Making lemonade is not living in denial. I give myself permission to feel every bit of sadness and disappointment. However, I want to be like Caleb and Joshua in the Old Testament. I want to believe my God is bigger than any giant challenges in my life. I don’t want to give up on God and His promises.

When I think about making the best of a situation, one story that I always refer back to starts when I worked as a taxi driver struggling to pay my bills. The taxi industry is full of unethical behavior. I seemed to constantly be taking a loss in order to do the right thing. I would get frustrated with God because the wicked people seemed to be prospering so much. God just asked me to trust Him.

One day I was sitting in my taxi feeling sorry for myself. I was throwing a pity party as I waited for work. I was offered a trip to pick up someone two blocks away. I was upset and almost rejected the offer because I was hoping for a better trip but I decided something was better than nothing. I don’t believe in random chance so I decided that if this was the work the Lord was giving to me then I should accept it and make the best of it.

Although I was disappointed, I arrived at the customer’s location and tried my best to treat her the same as I would treat the person paying $100 for a trip. To my surprise, she ended up spending more money to go a longer distance than I expected. Then she asked me to be her driver for the whole week – which worked out to $25-$50 each day. Then at the end of the week she tipped me $70!

On top of all that, the best part is that she is one of a a few people God used to encourage me that I had more potential than just to drive a taxi. Not that there is anything dishonorable about working as a taxi driver but I was putting myself in real physical danger constantly. God used her good positive attitude and encouraging words to speak new life to me and help me start to see that I had God-given abilities to work in a less-stressful business.

The best part is she and I are still in contact five years later even though we only spent a couple hours in person as strangers all that time ago. She is a Christian and we have encouraged each other through several difficult seasons. I don’t think all that would have happened if I was nursing a sour attitude when I met her.

If someone told me that my best friend did something horrible, I would give my best friend the benefit of the doubt because I’ve spent time with her and I know her heart and character. Satan wants me to question and doubt God’s goodness. Satan has been using that same trick since the beginning of time with Eve.

The more time I spend investing in my relationship with God, the more I learn and experience His heart and character. I am then able to trust Him more and not give up on Him even when I don’t yet understand what He is doing. I find I am in need of more perseverance and patience.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galations 6:9 NKJV)