Today’s Challenges: When life gives you lemons… it has a silver lining


OK, I know it is a mixed metaphor, but it gets your attention and sets up the idea I want to convey.

The past couple of weeks have been difficult for me in some ways. I injured my sciatic nerve and have been in quite a bit of pain. I have seen a doctor and am taking therapy, but the results are somewhat slow in reliving the pain to say the least. Quite a surprise as I have never had this type of problem before.

Next I had a filling come out of a tooth and went to the dentist yesterday for a simple repair. A few hours later I left the office after having two wisdom teeth pulled, a tooth prepared for a crown and three small fillings. This was a surprise as it is the first of my teeth I have had to have pulled in almost 69 years and seldom have problems with my teeth.

So, those are some of the lemons (the sour things that make you scrunch up your mouth and shake your head and say I don’t like that). OK, I know you can make lemonade, but I don’t much like that either. Now I can choose to dwell on those things and say, “Oh, poor me! Why do all of these things happen to me? I have to admit that I don’t like the pain and am praying for quick relief, however I tend to look for the Silver Lining when I can.

A few weeks ago the church where I had previously preached in California sent us a house warming gift of a beautiful Boston fern. Now that the weather has warmed here in Ohio my wife hung it on the back porch and waters and cares for it regularly. Quite unexpectedly one day she found a robin’s nest in the fern. Now, day by day we watch it and as of yesterday it has 4 eggs in it. We also noticed one day, one the robin’s eggs lay broken on the ground and in the place of the robin’s egg was a smaller brown-speckled egg. We suspect a sneaky sparrow did this, taking advantage of the robin’s care for the egg and baby soon to be born.

OK, here’s the point. You can choose to dwell on the lemons in your life, or you can look for the Silver Linings around you. I choose to try and look for the good, the beautiful, possibly the unexpected; for that which will make me smile and think good thoughts in spite of the pain life brings.

Paul wrote these words to us on how to deal with life in Philippians 4:8 (I hope you find them helpful): “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things”. (ASV) Another paraphrase of this verse says, “fill your minds with those things that are good”.

So how are you dealing with you “Life Lemons”? Stop and look around you for that Silver Lining,” and think on these things.

By Russ Lawson

Today’s Challenges

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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