I love a good glass of fresh squeezed lemonade. I love the tart mixed with the sweet. I like to try different recipes for lemonade. Some add more sugar. Some add more lemon juice. It’s just whatever the preference is. One thing you will never find in a lemonade recipe is unsqueezed lemons. Sure, you could fill a pitcher of water and float whole lemons in it to get a citrus taste but you won’t have lemonade. The lemons have to be crushed to get the most out of them. The juicy inside is what makes the yummy lemonade. The crushing brings out whatever is on the inside.
There are times in your life when it’s easy to put a smile on your face and convince everyone that what’s going on inside of you is just fine. But what happens if pressure is applied? What if everyone in the house is sick? What do you do when you’re running late and completely dead stopped in traffic? How do you respond when hurtful words are spoken to you? Sometimes the heat gets turned up in life and whatever is on the inside of you comes out. These situations are part of crushing. The exterior is squeezed and whatever is on the inside comes pouring out. The impatient attitude in the grocery store line rears its ugly head. Yelling instead of talking sometimes becomes the way of communication when the conversation suddenly takes a wrong turn. These character traits are natural for us. They come very easily. We live in a sin stained fallen world. We are imperfect people. But do these choices bring refreshment or more chaos? Like the lemons, we’ve been crushed and the fruit on the inside is not always what we want to spill out. This is hard and we all deal with it in different areas of our lives. Jesus said, “What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45 NLT) This may be a little tough to swallow, but hang on, it gets better.
The Lord loves His children too much to settle for just “okay”. He wants us to live the most abundant life possible in this hard world. He knows every single thing there is to know about us. “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” (Luke 12:7 NLT) He is a detail oriented Father. But how much do we know about ourselves? I find myself sometimes saying, “I cannot believe I just said that”. God knew it was in me, but I did not. Only when I face a crushing time do I really get to take a close look at the inside. It’s easy to be happy and kind when all is well. It’s quite hard when things are tough. God loves us and wants us to understand that we need His grace to do everyday life. If God’s ways are stronger in us than the world’s ways, we are far more likely to diffuse a bad situation than to escalate it. No, we’re not Jesus, but if He is your Lord, you want to be pleasing to Him. You want to respond to situations the way He would. “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” (Proverbs 15:1 NLT)
Let’s try to be conscious about our “heart” condition. Whatever is there controls your life. It’s that important. Let’s be intentional about consulting The Lord before we face the world. The enemy wants to set traps everywhere to try to bring division. Let this not be so! Life is difficult. Circumstances arise from out of nowhere. You have to be ready for the crushing.
Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband Robby and cat Harold.