December 21, 2020
By David VanEpps
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade, right? What do you do when 2020 hands you a lot of lemons? Simple, make more lemonade.
In a year marked by words like Covid, wildfires, racial injustice, murder hornets, social distancing, as well as a crazy election, how could anyone possibly make lemonade from these lemons? Why don’t we ask companies like Zoom, Lysol, DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Amazon, and Netflix? They were certainly opportunistic when it comes to 2020.
What about you? What opportunities did you (and do you still) have to make lemons in 2020? There are plenty!
Crisis = Opportunity
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.” Crisis equates to danger, but it also equates to opportunity. Let’s not be dismissive of the fact that lives were lost, businesses closed down, and people were adversely impacted. 2020 was filled with sad stories, but it was also filled with opportunities that get very little airtime.
They say life is not about what happens to you, it’s about how you respond. You can accept the bad news and write 2020 off as a bad year, or you can find the opportunity and make the most of it. It’s your choice.
The Bible may not use Chinese proverbs or talk specifically about lemonade, but God’s word says plenty about responding to adversity.
- John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
- James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- Psalm 34:19 says, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all”
- Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
God’s word is clear—you will face adversity. He is equally clear that He is with you and that He has already won eternal victory over death. The trials we face build perseverance for the long run. God will deliver you from your troubles and give you peace, and He wants you to rejoice, always. Yes, even in 2020!
Many people have used 2020 as a time to make lemonade.
- We’ve freed up time that used to be spent traveling, eating out, commuting, and in certain social activities. Many have found ways to repurpose that time as quality time with God, family, and friends. Many have repurposed that time to read, learn, and improve themselves.
- With the reduction of in-house dining at many restaurants, many have taken a renewed focus on healthier eating and exercise habits.
- With the increase in people working from home, many have found ways to be more flexible and improve their work-life balance. For example, we just returned from a week at our daughter’s apartment, where we spent quality time together while working remotely.
Make no mistake, when we look back on 2020, there will be two groups of people. There will be those who embraced the negativity, and there will be those who sought the opportunity to make the most of challenging times. The question is, which group will you fall into?
Regardless of how your 2020 has taken shape so far, we’re far from out of this. You still have time to make your version of lemonade. Why not start with the simple things, like the peace that Jesus said you can have in Him. Believe in Him and declare Him the Lord of your life and experience all He has to offer. Fearlessly face the trials, for God is with you. Build up the spiritual perseverance God wants for all of us. Rejoice in all things. Lastly, look at some of the best practices, and consider how to repurpose your time for the greatest good. Through crisis comes opportunity. Make 2020 your opportunity of a lifetime.