As you can see I have selected a lemon blossom and lemons after our recent rain. I have been pondering getting squeezed by life, and here are my morning reflections.
When life begins with a lemon it is a beautiful blossom, and for a long while, it is unnoticeable before the first green round ball appears on the tree. Eventually, you have a beautiful lemon. Peter Paul and Mary had a song with lyrics “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.” Well, not exactly.
If we see ourselves as lemons, what happens when the pressure of life squeezes the juice right out of us? That has been my reality the last few days. I finally got my juicer out and watched as the point went into the flesh of the lemon and the juice poured out. Are you willing to be poured out to bless others? I can assure you it will hurt. My husband Dennis and I enjoy watching cooking shows, and often you hear the judges say, “your dish needs more acidity.” So, the lemon juice is necessary when added to other ingredients.
When you pour yourself out, can your offering be just what is needed, when used in combination with someone else’s life? That is what I want in my life. This week I had one session of a class that required me to perform a release session with a client and it had to be video recorded live. My client was a friend. I had all the tools there, and my friend got some real freedom. She left, and then my classmates and mentor evaluated me. I was an “all but one” on the evaluation. I felt like a failure. Then I had to consider, what about my friend? She left my house free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. I wasn’t the one doing the freedom releasing, Jesus was.
That night I was scheduled to teach at my church for a ladies event. I was doing the same process for a group. I came in not very confident. On top of it, I dropped my crock pot of homemade organic lentil soup. What was I going to do with all that pressure jabbing into the flesh of my life? Could I be a good offering, or was I going to collapse under the strain? God’s grace prevailed. The results of that evening were perhaps mixed, but that wasn’t up to me. I came with the offering. I managed that night while in the background my head was hurting.
It gets better.
I awoke the next day and squeezed two quarts of fresh lemon juice. I also had a session that morning with a client. I had a headache. I used different tools, but the results were positive for the client. All day I had a horrible headache and went to bed in pain. This morning, praise God, I am headache-free!
Sometimes there is pain in the offering. The lemons have to go from a bud to completely “dead” in order for the juice to be released. Walking a life devoted to God means He uses you best and flows through you most easily when your flesh is poured out and His sweetness and savoriness flow through you.