When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come. ~ Oswald Chambers, Shade of His Hand
There is a popular proverbial phrase that has been around for a long time…
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Hogwash. That only works in the kitchen…with a sharp knife…and an overabundance of lemons dangling from a fruit tree in your back yard. Even so, a more reasonable course of action would be to simply find someone with some vodka and have a party.
You cannot add a little “sugar” to a cancer diagnosis and make it sweet. It is not possible for the turmoil of loss to be turned into something pleasing to the palate. There is no way to rid grief of the bitter cup it places before you. And surviving abuse cannot be sugar coated.
To be expected to walk around with a superhero spiritual smile on your face when you’re dying inside is down right wrong. Now, I’m not saying we have to do the sack cloth and ashes thingy but give a Brother or Sister a break. Sometimes life just sucks.
As Job was laying in the gutter covered with boils, having lost his health, wealth, friends and family, I seriously doubt he had a perma-fix smile plastered on his face. I don’t know that positively as I wasn’t there however since God chose to include the example in His handbook, I figure there was a reason for it.
Likewise, when God told Joshua…
Joshua 1:9(AMP) …Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
There must have been a reason to feel weak, be “afraid” or “dismayed”. And when Jesus said…
John 16:33(ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
He came right out and said we would have tribulation and it stands to reason He recognized something has the potential to rob us of our peace and confidence.
We live in a flawed world and going through difficult times allows us to rely on His strength and not our own. Adversity builds character. If we are not made aware of our weakness, we will never experience His strength. If we never experience trials, we will never see His victory. And if our faith is not tried by fire, we will never be quenched by the Living Water.
Remember…Stay focused on His victory.