When life gives you lemons . . .

We all know the end of the saying. When life gives you lemons . . .

Make lemonade.

But is that really the message Christians should be delivering?

When life gives you lemons

It has such a nice “pull yourself up by your boot straps” kind of ring to it. We are, after all, masters of our own destiny. And life is what we make of it.

But it also has an air of your problems aren’t my problems and your grief is worn best silently. Hidden away somewhere where I don’t have to deal with it.

Having lost a child, I have a somewhat different perspective on grief and suffering and what denotes strength and dignity. Having lost a child, I know that sometimes you cannot just put on a smile for the world and I don’t think you should try.

The Bible, after all, calls us to “bear one another’s burdens,” but the verse doesn’t end there. Galatians 6:2 goes on to say this is how we fulfill the law of Christ. We act out our faith by bearing burdens. Not by asking people to keep them to themselves, to silence them, to stick them somewhere deep where we do not have to be confronted by their heaviness.

We walk along side them and lift as much as we can.

It is only natural to want to make someone feel better when they are hurting. But it isn’t always in our power. And it isn’t always in theirs. It isn’t even always in their best interest. All we can really do is sit awhile and remember the One who turns mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11), praying for that day and sharing tears along the way.

Because the world may not be able to offer enough sugar to do anything with these lemons, but they are not all that I have. I have Christ and therefore I have hope.

Shared with Grace and Truth Christian link up at Arabah Joy.

35 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons . . .

    • roscommonacres1 says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. And yes, the best compassion is nonjudgmental. It doesn’t just apply to those grieving the loss of a loved one, but to anyone struggling with seen or unseen problems.

  1. susanmarymalone says:

    Very well said. Grief isn’t something that just goes away, and so often, folks don’t know what to say to “make it feel better.” Because loss–especially loss of a child–lives deep in your bones. Many prayers to you.

  2. I don’t know when the whole “suck it up” phrase started but I do loath it. I think that is one of the reason people are afraid to talk when they are suffering. Which only results in more pain and suffering. Sometimes I don’t want to suck it up! Sometimes I want to have a good cry. I miscarried my second just 3 days before my 29th birthday. I think the only reason I didn’t lose my mind is because I was surrounded by people that let me cry it out and didn’t says stupid things like “it all happens for a reasons”.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss! There are times as a Christian when I have really struggled such as when I miscarried, when we found out we were in infertile, losing my Dad, then unexpected events afterwards. What really does keep me going though is my faith because without it, we would be nothing.

  4. That was very well put. It is so true that people don’t like hearing about your problems. I don’t think there can be anything worse that losing a child. I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through this.

    • roscommonacres1 says:

      Yes, especially past that first month. It gives you an outlet. For anyone following this, GriefShare is an excellent program. Teddy Bear Hollow is great for kids (I think it is nationwide and not just in Omaha).

  5. Peter says:

    Reading your post has given me new insight into Christ’s saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Yes, for no matter how good or poor the banquet of life is on the material, personal, here and now level, we need more than what fills our bellies.

    • roscommonacres1 says:

      Very true. But sometimes it’s hard when we’re hungry or hurting. That’s why we need each other. 🙂

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. I think that we don’t always have to act brave and try to smile when we are dealing with grief and suffering. Everyone acts differenly when hurting and we should respect it.

    • Thank you. And yes, everyone grieves differently. It can be rough on people when we put expectations for the grieving process on them.

  7. I am with you when it comes to having lost a child and I know how it feels. I agree that grief does not go away just like that & words wont be enough to explain the pain we go through. To me the trust I have on Almighty is high which is enough for me!

    • Thank you! I think it is easy to get distracted here in America where most of us are materially blessed well beyond what we need. But those aren’t the things that make God faithful and good.

  8. When life gives you lemons…it seems that is another one of those cliche sayings that people say thoughtlessly because they don’t know what else to say. I really appreciate your points here – we need our hearts softened with compassion for others. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    • Dana says:

      Thank you. And yes. Or by someone who hasn’t struggled with real trials. Because you can make good out of a lot of situations. But not all of them.

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