We’ve all heard that one before. It doesn’t matter how well-meaning the person may be, you can only hear ‘look on the bright side’ so many times.
But what does this phrase really mean?? I mean REALLY MEAN??
to me…it means a whole lot more than just making lemonade:)
There is so much to learn from the seven little words that make up this well-known adage. Let’s find out what:)
First off…WHEN: What a word to start with! This phrase could have started off with ‘if’ but instead we learn that lemons in our life are not a matter of if, but when. We all have them. They come during different stages of our life and often can’t be predicted. So because we know that they will come, we need to build up our spiritual reserves through scripture study and prayer. We must prepare NOW for those ‘lemons’ that are coming! As Thomas S. Monson, a modern day prophet said, “When the time for decision comes, the time for preparation is past.” Decide NOW how you will react when they come your way.
LIFE: The period between the birth and death of a human being. That is the New Oxford definition for life. So we can determine that the period that we will experience these ‘lemons’ is from birth until death. You might think I’m strange, but that is actually comforting to me! My religious beliefs center around something called the Plan of Salvation which teaches that after life on this earth, we will have a period of rest and we will be fully whole and healed from anything and everything we suffered from in this life. Because of my religious beliefs, I have faith that one day all that is unfair in this life will be made up. So while it may seem like an eternity that our trials last, I love knowing that compared to eternity, these ‘lemons’ are but a small moment:)
Next is GIVES: The word ‘gives’ implies a gift. It’s as simple as that! These trials in our life are given to us because God trusts us to learn and grow from them. He trusts us. I can’t think of any gift greater than the trust that God has given me to learn and grow and become more like Him!
YOU: You are loved by your Heavenly Father. You are important to Him. He knows you by name. You matter. Don’t forget that as you go through this life:)
Up next…LEMONS: They are all different. For me, it seems like my medical issues never cease. For others, it’s depression or financial troubles or family problems…the list is endless! But that’s exactly what we need to remember…nobody’s trials are the same. We all have different capacities and different strengths and weaknesses. The Lord knows what we are capable of and we “will not be tested above that which we have strength.” What a promise! I believe that one of the biggest tests we go through in this life are not our own personal ‘lemons,’ but how we respond to those ‘lemons’ in other’s lives. That is the true test of life:)
Make: President Thomas S. Monson said again, “Work will win when wishy washy wishing won’t.” Oh the truth of that statement!! Work is required for us to overcome our trials! We can’t just sit around hoping for an easier or better life…it is part of God’s plan for us to learn and grow. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really learn anything if I’m not being challenged. It is up to us to make the most of our ‘lemons,’ it’s not up to somebody else to do it for us.
Finally…LEMONADE: The reward at the end. The part where you cross the finish line, fists pumping the air and hollering in victory. The ‘lemonade’ is the moment when finally it all makes sense. Here’s a story I love that sums it all up for me:
“Years ago I read of an African-American who rose from humble circumstances to become the general counsel of General Motors, without question one of the most lucrative and prestigious positions for a lawyer in all the world. As a boy he was poor; he was required to obtain his education through efforts that were heroic and under circumstances that were difficult in the extreme. He was required to work one and even two menial, dirty jobs regularly, and, if I am not mistaken, occasionally three. He was asked if he felt uncomfortable among the highest-paid executives in the world. His answer was no. He said that most of them had been poor boys, like him, who had worked their way up being tested, challenged, threatened, and discouraged. Adversity is the refiner’s fire that bends iron but tempers steel.” (President James E. Faust)
So as I have gone through my 20 years of life I have learned this from that over-quoted phrase:
The true meaning of life is not about getting rid of the lemons in your life, but rather enjoying the process of making that lemonade.
For it is in the journey that we find the JOY.
🙂 🙂 🙂