When Life Gives You Lemons

When life gives you lemons what do you do? I love me some lemon. Lemon is a great flavor to cook with. Chicken, lemon, onion, a splash of sherry, some capers, all cooked together make a wonderful dinner. 

Lemonade is one of my favorite things and I spent most of this year drinking it every day. I'd take a lemon, slice it in two, juice it and then add some water and some lemon flavored stevia and just sip the day away. Yum. Once the weather cooled I was doing the same thing but with hot water.

I love lemonade. It became a habit.

The only problem though is that when I was a little girl I went to the dreaded allergist and had the pins-in-your-back allergy testing done. Turns out I was allergic to almost everything. That's how it felt. Citric acid fruits were at the top of the list. No problem, never liked orange juice anyway. 

As I got older I quit the every other week allergy shots in each arm and just started to live. Some things still trigger a reaction in me. I cannot breathe when I'm in a musty moldy building. It's like my body says, "no, we are not intaking this nasty spore filled air." My head feels like it's going to implode and I just feel funky all over.

The lemons though. 

I never really noticed a reaction when I had citrus so I figured there was nothing to  it even though it was what registered as my biggest allergy of all. I learned to cook with lemons and limes. And there was that summer of 2007 when I had grapefruit almost daily.

But the lemonade this year.... Well I developed a strange patch of dry under my left eye in early September and I couldn't figure out what it was from. It took me nearly three months to figure out that the eye thing was from the lemons.

So I gave them up and it went away.

Sometimes we have to give up the things we love because doing so is what's best for us. It's called sacrifice and it isn't easy. If it was easy then everyone would be doing it.

I know that by giving up lemons my body will be healthier. My skin under my eye won't break out in a rash and it won't hurt. Even though lemons are one of my favorite things, they have been hurting me.

To live a life that pleases God we need to live sacrificially. This not only applies to things, but also to attitudes, actions, our thought lives, what we watch on television, the words we use in conversation, and a myriad of other things that keep us from the life God wants for us.

His word, the Bible, teaches us what is best for us. As we follow His instructions it is easy to give things up that are not good for us. He's asked me to give up things before and I do it because I know that He knows what's best for me. 

Is it easy? No.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.

At the end of life it comes down to you and God. Would you rather please yourself your entire life or please Him?

What lemons are you holding onto that are keeping you from God's best?


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