“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
We all know disappointments are one of life’s unpleasant certainties. There are times things just do not work out the way we hoped or planned, sometimes it WILL rain on your parade. People disappoint us, they don’t meet our expectations, they don’t keep commitments, they leave. We can disappoint ourselves when we fail, when we hurt someone we care about, when we give up, again…
I hate that saying about lemonade out of lemons. There are times you simply cannot make lemonade out of a bitter disappointment so what can you do when your heart is breaking and your spirit is crushed by disappointment?
Run to God – when Jesus finally arrives after Lazarus was already entombed, Martha goes out to Him immediately, she expresses her disappointment vehemently and asks Jesus to make it right. God knows everything that is happening and He has allowed the situation; get honest with Him, pour out your disappointment to Him, ask Him for what you want.
Rest – God performs an amazing miracle through Elijah yet Elijah runs and hides when he hears that Jezebel wants him dead. Full of despair and disappointment, Elijah asks God to let him die. The Lord provides food, shade and time of rest and recuperation for him. I have a tendency to try to work around disappointments, my mind spins as I attempt to figure out some alternate plan. I’m learning to wait on God; He never sleeps and is ever active in my life. His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. He has plans I know nothing about and it is much bigger than me. I need to let His plan unfold; to stop trying to manipulate my solution and wait on His, trusting that it is for my good and His glory.
Remain – during His most desperate hours in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus closest disciples fell asleep as He pleaded with the Father. You can hear the disappointment in His voice when He confronts them about their inability to stay awake even for a single hour. Abandoned by those He trusted most, Jesus remains. He knows what He must do, He knows He will face it alone. Ultimately, even if we have friends and supporters to encourage us when disappointments come, we face them alone..
Resolve – Jesus looked into the eyes of His betrayer, Judas and, just hours after His arrest, He looks into Peter’s eyes as Peter denies knowing Him. Jesus never wavered in His love for those who betrayed and denied Him. My resolve to forgive, to lovingly confront and to continue to love those who disappoint me has to come from God. My flesh screams for justice, for fairness and, even, to inflict hurt in return. God wants to change the way I think so His light can shine through my tears as I become more like Jesus.
And that is ultimate end of disappointment, choosing to remain, to face it alone, to put one foot in front of the other and walk through it when my heart is breaking. Disappointments may crush me for a time but God always gives me the resolve to see them as delays not devastation, as a change in plan, a chance to try a new plan. Some big disappointments have turned out to be the best thing ever. God shows me the depth of my own sinfulness when my disappointment is a result of someone else’s actions – I have to confess, I have been a Peter. Disappointments remind me that I am totally dependent on God, He will never disappointment me I and need to stay on His path wherever and however it may lead.
“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” Sometimes that is true but not all the time. Sometimes I’m in the mood to make a chocolate shake!