You know that saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Sometimes it’s not one or two lemons, or even a bowl full. Sometimes you are plucked from the comforts of a beautiful life, and dropped down in the middle of a lemon grove, with nothing but lemons FOR MILES. Like last week, when life handed over a full Dyson that fell to the floor and exploded dog hair and dust and old Cheerios every.where., and our brand new SHINESITE crashing under pressure of a zillion sweet shine shoppers, and a tiny glitter glove "coincidentally" flipping us off as we walk into the house. This morning I had a sack of lemons hurdled at me and I was all.out.of.Shine. I have been dodging these lemons for a few months, but over the past few weeks, there’s no getting around it. It was raining lemons – and everything else – and my light was straight up spat-on-extinguished. The tears began and not 5 seconds later, girlfriends showed up at my door and physically pushed me out into their car. They listened, they reasoned, they encouraged, they pampered, and they fed me. They fed my heart, and they fed my belly with cheesy love. My light is back - it's flickering, but you can tell the flame is ready to kick it into high gear. Listen, I am a firm believer in spiritual warfare. Let me tell you something about it. When satan sees God up to something big, he fights to knock that woman down. There is absolutely nothing that satan can do to make God stop loving you, but he’ll do what he can to make you angry. To make you lose hope. To confuse you, and get angry at God and the situation. To make you cuss and scream, and lose your temper with your children, and worry about things you can’t solve, and to generally destroy your day so that you are doing everything but shining. Anything he can do to get you to stop doing that thing you’re doing that is putting a wrench in his plans. He throws extra junk in that dropped vacuum, and he carefully adjusts that black fuzzy middle finger. He brings storms to places where there has been smooth sailing for YEARS. The more potential you have to lead others away from him in the ways you follow God, the more trouble he sends your way to deter you. To confuse you. To distract you. And to generally keep you from doing that new wonderful, beautiful thing that God is asking you to do. This is nothing new, SHINEfamily. He’s been doing this since the dawn of time. Since the days of Adam and Eve, he has been up to no good, driving a wedge between God and His people. So if God loves us soooo much, why do we even have lemons? Why are we standing in the middle of a lemon grove while lemons and poo are being flung our way? Depends. Sometimes it’s to strengthen us. To increase our faith. Sometimes it's just to awaken us to Satan's schemes so we can recognize the next attack in our own life or the lives of our friends. Sometimes it's just a test. And sometimes? It’s because the way you follow God threatens satan. [bctt tweet="The way you follow God threatens satan."] Two people in history come to mind. Okay four. First, Job. Job was a good guy – followed God. Never said a bad word about anyone. satan flat-out said to God, listen, I’m going to destroy somebody. I’m going to take everything they have. His family will die. His fortune will be lost. His animals will die. Even his home. Everything he has will be gone, and on that day, he will curse you. But God knew that deep down, Job would not. God was so confident in Job, He told satan to go ahead and fling whatever poo he could Job’s way. So he did - satan took every single thing he had (talk about standing in a poo-filled lemon grove), and still, Job would not curse God. God gave Job everything that was lost and more, because when satan came throwing punches, Job stood firm in his faith and gave the battle to the Lord to fight for him. And then there were three. Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. These three men lived in the time of a king who let satan feed his pride. This king allowed one of his leaders to talk him into declaring that everyone should bow down to this idol instead of God or be thrown into a furnace. But ‘Rach, ‘Schach, and Abednego weren’t having any of that. Even when they knew their lives were on the line. Even when the fires were stoked and were so hot that people standing outside the furnace were dying from the heat. They believed God would come to their rescue while satan was stirring up all this trouble. These three men stood up to satan’s minions to say, “Even if. Even if He does NOT come to our rescue? We will still not worship your God.” And when they were thrown into the fire – that same fire that people were dying from while standing outside of it – they walked out, unharmed, without a single singed hair on their head. And from outside the fire? Onlookers could see an extra person in the fire walking around with them, talking with them, encouraging them. Protecting them. Their refusal to fall to satan led to the conversion of this king. And what would have happened had they fallen to bow down instead? History would be changed forever. They stood up to satan’s schemes. They put on their boxing gloves and said, no matter what you do, we will not be moved, because they knew who was there fighting alongside them. Cheesy LoveWe want to get out there and rock this battle ourselves, don’t we ladies? We want to put on our boxing gloves and fight all alone, but know that you are not alone in your fight, just like we are not alone. He will send angels on earth at just the right time ready to put their boxing gloves on with you, pray on your behalf, and stand firm with you. Sometimes He sends them with cake or cheeseburgers or tacos. {Thank you to all of you that have been that friend to someone. That friend that rekindles the flame when satan is trying to squash it.} Many times He flat out rescues us in ways we can’t even see or understand, like the 4th man in the furnace, walking around with Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, encouraging them and protecting them from harm. And sometimes, we just have to stand back, gloves laced up, rally caps on, while we tag Him into the ring and let God FINISH the battle.
Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.
This is our moment to Be Still. Ain't nobody gonna destroy our light y'all. Winds are swirling, and satan is skeered enough to sic his minions by the thousands, but WE WILL SHINE. There will always be lemons. Always be struggles - not just for the SHINE Shop, but for all of us. And we are so grateful for those of you standing in the gap, boxing gloves on with us, because we know where the source of this struggle comes from. But we also know who is bigger, and we are tagging Him in to finish this fight. The battle’s already won, y’all. ‪#‎destroyedthatburger ‪#‎bethelight ‪#‎shinelife #Daniel318   XOXO, Karen Karen is a mama, writer, editor, engineer, and chocoholic who loves anything sparkly. When she's not editing SHINE posts, you can find her on her blog, Perhaps This.