When God gives You a Lemon Tree…

I recently listened to an episode of Chad Veach’s leadership podcast.  His featured guest was Rich Wilkerson Jr., the lead pastor at Vous Church.  Both of these men are amazing leaders of people and teams, as well as themselves. And I really enjoy learning from both of them.  Chad was asking Rich about his success in ministry and how he has lead himself so well throughout all of it. Throughout the talk, which I highly encourage you to listen to, Rich said something that was really thought provoking.  He said “When you pray for trees, God gives you seeds.”  He was putting some illustration to what happens when you are willing to be used by God and dream big, He often gives you way less then what you THOUGHT you were asking for, because you need to learn to steward the small, appreciate the small, and the small thing that God gave you, is exactly what has the potential to turn into trees. 

I have been thinking about this concept and applying to my life, my ministry, and even my family since I heard him talk about this. I think Rich was right, when you dream big, usually what God gives you is much smaller than what you were hoping for. And sometimes the circumstances you live in, are much more sour than you had hoped for. Sometimes you think you are growing apple trees from the seeds you’ve been given, only to find out you have just grown a lemon tree.

Have you been praying for trees and instead received seeds?

Have you been envisioning apples only to find that it’s lemons?

Or both?

I can’t speak for everyone here, but for me, when I receive a small piece of my vision, I am ecstatic, because I am ready to make the seeds into trees. And the seeds are the key ingredient. It’s when the lemons start dropping into the situation that I begin to get discouraged. The circumstances that are not ideal. The setbacks that I can’t see opportunities for comebacks. The repsonses to that don’t line up with God’s promises in my life. This doesn’t look like apples anymore. All I see are lemons.

Let’s think together, what are some dreams that we have had, that you have prayed about, dreamed about, thought about and talked about, that when the prayers were answered, the package left on the doorstep was much smaller than the one you intended to receieve? What “lemons” has God given you?

If we are being honest, many of us are sucking on the lemons in life that God has given us, not because God just wants to give us lemons, but because wants us to USE the lemons coupled with our unique gifts and abilities, to create something seemingly impossible with the situations and circumstances at hand.

It is just like God to give you what you think are seeds for a tree that when mature, you can simply pick and eat. But really he is giving us seeds to a tree that you must grow, and when mature, you must pick the lemons and continue to work to make the lemons worth while. You can’t just pick and eat, you must grow, pick, create, taste test, eat, and then serve others.

When God gives you lemons, it’s because He is entrusting you to put the work in, the effort in, and to use the gifts, talents, and recipes that He has given you to make lemonade, lemon tea, lemon merangue, lemon chickin, lemon tarts, and lemon cake. Sometimes what seems to be a sour gift is really the key ingredient in His feast for your life.

So get to work with the seeds God has given you, and when you start to notice lemons (because there will almost always be lemons) instead of letting the lemons sour up your dreams and visions, make the lemons work for you!

Blueberry pie and cheesecake recipes call for lemons. The same is true for your vision and dreams. When God gives you lemons, consult the recipe again, it may just be the key ingredient in making everything taste so much better!

Stay Tuned for Profound Thoughts.