When Christians weather seasons of trials and tribulations, they often find themselves asking God, “Is this life worth living?”
Like a tree that bears no fruit, she stands alone, feeling worthless. Her meager harvest after the storm is a dozen bitter lemons laying pitifully at her feet. With all the faith she can muster, she carefully chooses the best of the lot and offers them to God. Searching deep into her heart, He examines her motive, and finds only the purest of intentions. Void of any pride, she asks for nothing in return. Her only desire is to show her love for Him, by offering her best. Believing He can turn even bitter lemons, into sweet lemonade.
Before the Apostle Paul’s conversion; the day he encountered the resurrected Messiah on the road to Damascus; his life was fruitless. As an arch-enemy of Christ, no one other than God himself could have foreseen how Paul’s ministry would change the course of Christianity and the Church in such a mighty way. His dramatic transformation from persecutor to apostle of Christ is living proof that any life, no matter how misguided, can someday bear fruit. Although the apostle weathered many seasons of trials, he managed to write these words of encouragement from his prison cell. “Therefore, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. I believe his voice calls out from the grave shouting, “Go and make disciples of all the nations!” Paul, a man who once stood alone bearing nothing but bitter lemons now stands tall and produces the sweetest of lemonade.
To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer