Resilience: When Life Hands You Lemons

This morning in the worship service, I shared a presentation about Lemonade, and one perspective on how to think about the lemons that life hands you.  I’d like to share another take on this adage.  A (lemon) twist, if you will… 

It’s very easy to say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!” as though it’s just that easy to see all of life’s adverse circumstances as blessings in disguise.  But the truth is that there are some experiences that it’s really hard to bounce back (or move forward) from.  Maybe you can only imagine, or maybe some of those have even happened to you in your own life. 

The recipe for lemonade calls for lemons, of course (which in this metaphor are the bad stuff that happens to us, the obstacles that land in our path, or the challenging circumstances we’re faced with); but it also calls for sugar (this would be the sweet things that bring us joy – friends, family, the financial resources to keep us from constantly worrying about how and whether we’re going to be able to maintain the necessities for survival, and freedom), and water (let’s think of this as those aforementioned necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter, safety, and love). 

Resilience – the ability to cope with adversity, to “make lemonade” – is possible only when we have these other “ingredients” in place.  My ability to weather the storms of living is going to be so much greater if I have a soft place to fall than it would be for someone who finds themselves in peril, without a support system, or a job, or a home…    

So, when we are fortunate enough to have all of these ingredients on hand, and our pitcher is capable of combining them when life bombards us with lemons, if we’re expecting the people around us to be able to make lemonade, we might ask ourselves what we can do for them to help make sure they have all of the other ingredients required, and aren’t just stuck with the bushels of lemons they’ve been handed. 

~ Christiana

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