Of lemons and lemonade. July 2019
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Life just happens, and when it happens especially hard, we can sometimes wonder if God is there, if perhaps he has stepped away from his throne . . . or maybe, like Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal, maybe "God is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!"1 Truth: God does not need a coffee or bathroom break, and he promises never to leave us. Period.
And this is a most fantastic thing about our Heavenly Father: He can take the most bitter lemons in our lives and make out of them the finest lemonade! Actually, it is God and God alone who can take our biggest trials and heartaches and use them for good. Over many, many years, I can look back and see how good, how kind, how trustworthy and how creative God has been to turn some of my darkest days to sunlight-sunlight that he has allowed me to share with others.
ARE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIFFICULT TIME?
You can stand on this truth: He who calls you is faithful.2
. . . he will never leave you nor forsake you.3
In the Fall of 2000, right after moving from the San Francisco Bay Area to our little Southern California beach town, our youngest child - Danny - had kidney failure at just two years of age. Two children's hospitals and a myriad of doctors and tests could not determine the cause of his condition, which deteriorated daily. Leaving the hospital to attend Amy's varsity volleyball game one day, ('The other children have to see you too, Hon,' my husband reminded me), I was approached by a demure, kind-faced woman.
'Honey, I know you don't know me, but I know what you're going through. I know about your son and how sick he is. We're going to pray and ask God to do a miracle... now what is his name, Dear?' Pray for a miracle...what? I did not grow up in a church that taught that God is still in the miracle-working business, but I was certainly happy to have someone to pray for a miracle for Danny Boy.
DO YOU NEED A MIRACLE IN YOUR LIFE?
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,4 we pray, "O God, won't you come and do what only you can do in our lives?!"
We know that God has done miracles, right? So let's press in and ask him to ~>"Do it Again"- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B_lnQIITxU
Miracle 101. God doesn't always do the miraculous in an instant - sometimes the miracle is delivered over a little time. And such was the case in Danny. He was eventually diagnosed with three disorders which caused his kidney failure, and our only hope was transplant. But, God. God heard the prayers of many people and slowly but surely, the bleeding stopped, his blood pressure came down to normal, and after several months, he was almost well. It would take years for him to catch up to his peers in size but, God restored him fully by the time he was a sophomore in high school.
While I would not wish that experience on my worst enemy,
I would not trade it away either . . . not for anything.
In the first weeks after Danny came home from the hospital, I kept quietly thanking God, but singing praises loudly in my Suburban. Looking over my shoulder at my little blonde boy in his car seat, I would think, 'God, you did it!' Almost immediately, I prayed: 'Lord, truly I do not know why we received this miraculous gift of healing, but I promise you, I will use it for you-however you show me. Oh, and one more thing, God - I will tell people that you are still a miracle-working God.'
Two months later, I invited my new neighbor 'mom' types into my home for a Bible study. Honestly, I would never have had the courage but, God had been so good to us, and I wanted people to know how good and how very great he is! He had fulfilled the promise I had memorized as a young child:
God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.5
For the last 19-plus years, God has blessed me with the opportunity to share this crazy faith of mine with people literally all over the world. It never would have happened without the lemons of October, 2000, but, God . . . and I guess I would have to say I am thankful for the scars.
1 - 1 Kings 18.27b, NLT
2 - 1 Thessalonians 5.24
3 - Deuteronomy 31.6b
4 - Ephesians 3.20
5 - Romans 8.28