Lemons and Lemonade

April 30, 2012

When I moved to Sydney, I couldn't figure out why every time I ordered a lemonade, I got a Sprite. In Australia, it turns out that lemon-lime sodas are called lemonade. I tried to explain what I wanted – lemon juice from a lemon, with water and sugar. Someone pointed me to lemon squash, or lemon crush, as the closest alternative. It's only 5% lemon juice and is made with carbonated water instead of plain. I thought it was weird, but I grew to love it.

I think maybe when I lived in Sydney, I learned a few things about life while I was looking for lemonade. I never found the lemonade I was looking for, but I came to love lemon squash. And when I came home to the States, I got to share my lemonade with an Aussie friend – who found it odd, but delicious.

As the song goes, you don't always get what you want, but you get what you need. God has provided for us in every way, at every turn. We didn't have a car in Sydney, but we lived near excellent public transportation and we learned to love it. We didn't have a car when we came back, but we had several friends loan us a car for a couple days to a couple months. When one broke down recently, God provided for us while we had no transportation at all. Then the next week He moved someone to give us a car.

Last week, that car failed California's smog test. A few years ago, I would've been kinda freaked out to have this problem when we had no money to fix it. But now…I know that not all lemonade is the same. What seems to be a problem today may turn out to be a vehicle for blessing tomorrow. Maybe God will do something extraordinary to provide for this need. Or maybe we'll squeak by, pinching pennies and juggling payments on things – and learning once again that God always provides enough for the day.

John said something extraordinary to me last week. He said, “Well, God gave us enough for today, didn't He?” I paused and then agreed. We had enough money for the bills that had to be paid that day. And as the week continued, we had enough money for the needs of the following day and the day after that.

I don't know where the provision for next week's needs is going to come from. Maybe someone will give me some lemons and I'll make and sell lemonade. 🙂 Or maybe someone will give me some baking supplies and offer to buy my brownies! Ha, ha! (John named my brownies “Almost Better Than Sex Brownies” about fifteen years ago.) I applied to a temp agency; maybe I'll get a good temp job.

What I do know is that when it comes right down to the last second, we will have what we need.

I told you that my mother has been sick since Easter. A month she's been in the hospital and I haven't been able to fly to Michigan and see her. Then this week, a great friend unexpectedly bought me a plane ticket to Michigan! I leave tomorrow. It's shocking and wonderful. Another friend also offered to buy me a ticket. In the midst of heartache and confusion, I was overwhelmed by the milk of human kindness. Another drink I've come to love.

Sometimes when life is difficult and someone says, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” I kinda want to smack them. Maybe you've had days like that, too. My suggestion is to remember that there are different kinds of lemonade for different times and places.

And sometimes you can get through the day on the milk of human kindness instead.

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