Making lemons out of lemonade

Wait what? Don’t you have that backwards?

You can’t make lemons out of lemonade, that’s not the way it works.

I say we can and as Christ’s followers we must.

Currently, I’m into the guava infused lemonade. I enjoy telling myself, “It’s the ‘right’ kind of sugar.” Whatevs.

I truly enjoy the magic of an iced cold, freshly squeezed, real glass of lemonade. Romantically, I could be drinking it by the pool (which we used to have), sitting on the front porch after mowing the yard or overlooking Lake Tahoe from the balcony of our favorite rented cabin, number 83. However, its done, it reminds me of simpler days when grandma (not mine though, she was a whiskey sour kind a woman) would bring a tray of iced lemonade for all your neighborhood friends to share.

“Yeah, yeah, I know all about lemonade,” you say. “But, what about the crazy notion of making that beautiful cloudy yellow, lightly pulped, heavenly drink (sorry I drifted off on lemonade again) back into a lemon.”

Oh, yeah. See it would be nice to think that we could just share this illustrious, sugary, wonder of God with friends by taking the shortcut of handing it to them and saying, “here, drink this, its good and it took a lot of work to make it, but I want to make it easy for you so you’ll like it (and me).”

We all know how easy it is to grow lemons right?

WikiHow says anyone can do it. It should only take five to fifteen years, or sometimes… never. [according to WikiHow: Keep in mind that trees that come from seeds are not identical to the parent tree that they came from. Sometimes, the fruit that the new saplings produce is of a lesser quality. Other times, they do not produce edible fruit at all. This does not prevent the young tree from being visually pleasing. Keep this in mind when growing your tree. –]

Jesus said, “A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit.” When it comes to people being discipled and growing in their faith, the point of making lemons out of lemonade isn’t to share a refreshing drink by oversimplifying the process, it’s showing people how to grow their own lemon tree and produce their own deliciously tart, tasty fruit (sidenote: I eat lemons right off the tree, sometimes peel and all). That takes time, right? Sometimes years, right? Christianity isn’t about mass production or mass conversion, it’s about mass process of deep change and miraculously difficult transformation. In other words, it’s still a walk and a path not a Uber and a dropoff.

I needed a lemon tree not just lemonade

Sure, when I was young, I loved receiving the cool, sweet-sour elixir of lemon. However, what I really needed was someone to show me how to grow a lemon tree, to one day see, feel, taste and completely experience my own fruit. Maybe sharing our faith isn’t just about giving a cold cup of lemonade in Jesus’ name – its about sharing the lemon seed of the gospel and demonstrating how folks can grow in their own faith.

You wanna makes some lemons outta lemonade with me? Jesus tip: “just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” – Matthew 7:20 NLT


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