In 1915, Elbert Hubbard coined the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. This optimistic phrase has been used and published by many people.  Perhaps you have said this phrase when faced with adversity or a misfortune?

Four years ago, I found myself facing a dilemma while leading a Covenant Bible Study. Earlier in March that year, one of the members had been notified that he was no longer needed in his job. At the end of the month, I received similar news.  In both cases, the people participating in that study rallied around us, praying that God would open new opportunities. In my case, I became more involved with a variety of Bible studies, small groups, and volunteer service experiences at
St. Luke’s. One of the studies was titled At the Crossroads: Leadership Lessons for the Second Half of Life. This study guided participants through a reflection process to discover their purpose, passion, and mission for retirement, very similar to the process that high school students go through when making their career choices.

Another wonderful experience has been participating in the Scripture+Shared studies. I am part of a Tuesday morning group that has been meeting a couple of years and leveled out with about 5-7 participants. Last Fall, one of the members asked that we pray for our group to expand. We had our first session this week for the current study and sermon series The Book of Glory, focusing on John, Chapters 13-21. During that gathering, we met five new friends who had joined us, and we felt so blessed.

I found another phrase about lemons that applies: “When life gives you lemons…God can use them to change lives”. During 2019, St. Luke’s is encouraging us to express our gratitude by being more intentional in letting others know how much we appreciate their acts of kindness and generosity toward us. I feel that I have been transformed and my life has been truly enriched by those I have encountered in various settings and studies. Thanks be to God!