God often speaks to me through the little everyday things. One morning my hot water and lemon was tasteless and lacked flavour. What did I do? I scooped out the lemon with my fingers and squeezed it. In that moment I sensed God speak to my heart. Sometimes our lives can be just like that lemon. When you want your life to make a difference in the world, be prepared for God to scoop you up in His hands and as circumstances press and squeeze you, they will not compress, suppress, depress or oppress you, but increase and release the God flavours through you. When God holds you nothing can overload you.
What you are going through, child of God, will not break you but will make you effective in His hands so His incredible plans can be achieved through you. It is possible to smile through the tears, inconvenience, discomfort and pain; that says to God, “I tust you Lord, you are the only One who can turn pain to gain. You did it at the cross and you can do it again and again”!
You may feel broken, stripped and bare; hear Jesus say, “I’ve been there – even in the squeeze and under the pressure – only believe. I am with you, I love you, there is nothing I would not breakthrough for you. I will burst every dam and no opposition will oppose you – that is how much I care!” Rest in His hands, trust in His plans, the crushing will soon see you gushing with miraculous flavour and favour to share with a tasteless and flavourless world. To so many broken, dying and full of fear and strife, God will release through you His healing, restoration and resurrection life!
When life throws lemons at you, God turns them into lemonade!
Last Summer as a family we were pressed and squeezed on every side but God released and freed so much of heaven’s beautiful flavours through our lives….
On the same day my husband left with our two older boys to drive a minibus full of teenagers to a Christian Youth Conference, I was unexpectedly rushed into hospital and admitted with blood clots on the lungs – you can read about that miraculous encounter here: Receive it… Believe it… Achieve it!
After being released the next morning to bed rest at home, I returned to our house with our two younger children; Joel and Liella-Grace, to find my bedroom flooded! “So much for bed rest”, I thought, but after what God had just brought me through the night before I could smile in the face of that ‘dirty devil’ and say “God’s got this!” He had preserved my life – this was just bricks and mortar! I knew in that moment if my treasure was here this would shake me but my treasure is in a place where fire, rust, robbers and even floods can’t destroy! I literally blew a kiss and an “I love you Jesus” up to heaven, followed by “You alone have my heart and trust!” Our plans to snuggle and cuddle with a midnight feast in ‘Mummy’s bed’ got put on hold as a report from the plumber and our insurance company had us put out of our home with immediate effect!
We were told to leave the property and drive whilst our insurance company secured a hotel booking for us! Every hotel they held an account with in Norwich was full! I knew God was up to something and assured my ‘homeless’ children on that car journey with my version of the old saying “when life throws lemons at you, God turns them into lemonade”!
Finally, we got the call. There were two rooms remaining at the Marriott Sprowston Manor Hotel! I knew it well – it was our wedding hotel and one of my favourites! There was one problem – as our insurance company didn’t hold an account with them they couldn’t book the room and we needed to get there asap to secure it! By the time we arrived my children’s faces dropped as we were told there had been two walk ins and the last of the rooms was gone! Again I whispered to them, “Don’t worry – when life throws lemons at you God turns them into lemonade – you’ll see”! They trusted me! The reality was I was helpless! My trust was in the only one who could come through for my family!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:8-10
Exhausted after a night without sleep I explained our predicament to Reservations, but sadly the answer remained the same “no room at the inn”. As we were about to walk away a Manager emerged from another computer and said “I recognise that voice – are you Christine Field”? I was stunned but managed to choke out a “yes”, just stopping short of asking “who the heck are YOU?” I didn’t have a clue who the person in front of me was – other than my Guardian Angel!!! She went onto explain she was the child who lived next door to us when we first got married – I hadn’t seen her since she was 12 years old, that was around fourteen years ago now, yet she remembered me and my voice! Apparently I had always been kind to her, phew, that was a relief. I could sure do with some of heaven’s kindness and it hit just as I felt my sun was going down – in the nick of time!
God’s favour can come through for you in the craziest of ways – just trust Him no matter what! You cannot put God in a box! I don’t believe in coincidence only ‘Godincidence’ and our bitter lemons suddenly became miraculously sweet in every way! Movie night, room service and a 5-Star midnight feast would be served to us in our four-poster Honeymoon Suite! I couldn’t make it up if I tried! After my hospital stay and alarming separation from my ‘littley’s’ the night before, blitzing my promises to them and all our plans, I knew God was transforming our story for His glory! My heart was jumping up and down on the inside and blowing kisses again to heaven! Once more we were living in the power of God’s word:
“Fear not… I am your Shield, your abundant compensation and your reward shall be exceedingly great.” Genesis 15:1 (Amp)
In less than 24 hours we had gone from zero to hero, from alarm to calm, from sick to whole, from separation to celebration and homeless to blessed with the best room in the hotel (and probably the whole of Norfolk)! Our hotel booking for three days turned into over three months during a time in my pregnancy when Doctor’s orders were for ‘Rest’! Well, this surpassed anything on the NHS! Room service every day, laundry provided, pool, gym and golf all part of our in-house, temporary home facilities! I believe in living where the party never ends. I believe in living in God’s double portion blessing for our lives. I believe in living a life of faith. I believe in continually launching out into the deep – it is there you reap the miraculous power and provision of God!
It later transpired we should have been put up by our insurance provider at a Premier Inn. What looked like a disaster at the time with no rooms, heaven turned to our advantage and 5 star win! I smiled as I lay on one of the poolside loungers one day listening to my 10-year-old son Joel as he played in the pool with other children, say “We’re staying here because when life throws lemons at you, God turns them into lemonade”! That’s my boy!
I continually speak and declare God’s promise over our children:
“All our children shall be taught of the Lord and obedient to His will, and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of our children”. Isaiah 54:13. According to God’s peace (shalom) nothing shall be missing or broken from our children!
I love taking our children on this great God adventure with us, living a life of faith!
Oh, and did I forget to mention, in the same week of being admitted to hospital with blood clots on the lungs, evicted from our home with a leak (well flood really); David, my husband, returned home from the Youth Conference with more news for his then four-month pregnant wife with our 5th child – the company he was working for as a Director had run out of money! Great! As I hugged my hubby that day did we panic? No way – we’ve learnt that the secret of success is trusting God as our source and living beyond what circumstances say!
We can often be so busy playing dodge ball with the lemons life throws at us. The truth is, there will be times when your life will take the hit! Yes life can be bitter-sweet but when you are trusting Jesus, what He makes out of it will ultimately astound you!
You may feel pressed and squeezed but keep the faith, Heaven’s supply will be released, you will be freed and have MORE than you need!
What you went through didn’t break you, although it was meant to! God says, “Now is the time for your breakthrough”!