Life can be very sour, especially when working through the messy emotions that result when things don’t go as we expected. (See previous posts Parenting Outside the Plan and Not From Concentrate.)

The good news about making lemonade is that we get to add sugar. In this case, hope. A feeling of expectation or desire for something to happen. A desire with anticipation. Something sweet to counteract the sour.

We all hope things get better. That we find a job. That cancer is cured. That our child’s issues will go away. That our favorite team wins. That the stock market will calm down. That it won’t rain on our picnic. This kind of hope doesn’t even impact the situations we have no control over. Is this hope or merely wishful thinking? Is it like calorie-free chemical substitutions instead of pure sugar?

Real hope, the kind I’ve found to carry me through the rough days, is built on the knowledge that there is Someone in control who has the power to change the circumstances. God may or may not work things out the way I’d like Him to or on my timetable … but simply knowing He’s got it under control is reassuring. Knowing that He loves me and wants the best for me helps me to trust Him even when I don’t understand. Knowing this is temporary, even if it lasts a lifetime until eternity, gives me the patience to endure another day. And knowing I am not alone in the journey — that He feels my pain, counts every tear that falls, and brings others into my life to help — brings strength to face the next challenge.

I don’t have to face the hurt and disappointments alone because God is on my side, in my corner, has my back, carries me through, and oversees it all.

That’s the kind of hope that lasts.

Sour pain and sweet hope. Lemons and sugar. (But there is one more ingredient to Making Lemonade that we’ll talk about next week.)

What about you? When facing lemons, do you have sugar? Where do you find hope? What is your hope based on?

The Sugar of Hope
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