Women’s Devotion | February 2020
Hearts & Lemons
The month of February brings about feelings of love and being sweet to others. Hearts, hearts, and more hearts. Well, one morning at around three o’clock, God revealed to me how MY heart was like a lemon. My immediate thoughts were, A lemon? They are bitter and sour, and that’s not me!
I stumbled into the kitchen and began to load the dishwasher. I couldn’t understand why I was awakened and felt the need to complete this task, because that’s just not something I would do at three o’clock in the morning. Who does that?
The previous weekend, I went to visit my parents, and I always come away with “loot” (you know, like fresh eggs, lemons, cane syrup, oranges, pecans … the good stuff).
This trip yielded big, beautiful lemons. As I turned the dishwasher on, my eyes caught those same lemons, and the thought came to me, MAKE LEMONADE. I’m not going to say God said, “Kylee, make lemonade.” However, I do feel that the unction to make lemonade at three o’clock in the morning was inspired by God, because this woman likes her sleep!
I pulled out a pitcher and chose four lemons to get started. If you’ve never made homemade lemonade, you must first soften the inside. This extracts more juice, so you won’t have to work twice as hard. As I rolled the lemon back and forth, I heard in my spirit, “In order to hear from me, your heart (like a lemon) also has to be soft.”
Ezekiel 36:26 NLT says, “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” As women, we tend to put up walls around our heart to protect us from getting hurt. In doing so, we can’t mirror Jesus Christ to those around us because we are too busy trying to keep them out. God specifically wants to take out our hard hearts and give us tender, responsive ones because He knows we need to use them to love like Jesus.
Once I softened the insides of the lemons, I had to pierce them with a tool to release the juice. Hebrews 4:12 ESV says “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” When His word pierces our hearts, it begins to discern our intentions of being godly or ungodly, as well as our thoughts of good or evil. We must spend time in His word to keep our hearts softened to hear Him.
After I pierced the lemons, the process of SQUEEZING came! I wanted to get as much juice from those lemons as possible. As I squeezed and pressed, the good DID come out, but some bad came out as well. What was the bad? The seeds. In our Christian walk, there are many trials and temptations. Through these events, we sometimes allow “seeds” to take root in our hearts that shouldn’t be there. These can be seeds of bitterness, jealousy, offense, and much more. Those seeds, if not carefully taken care of, will turn into weeds. What do weeds do? They choke out the ability of the good seeds to bear fruit. Just as I had to be patient in picking out all those seeds, we also must be patient in allowing God to help rid us of “bad seeds” in our hearts. It is a process.
Squeezing the lemon reminded me of an illustration my husband mentioned in one of his sermons. He asked the congregation what comes out when you squeeze an orange. Their reply was, “orange juice.” He did the same with lemons and apples to get lemon juice and apple juice. Then he asked what comes out when you squeeze a Christian. The squeezing here would be trials and tribulations that we go through, and the answer should be CHRIST! However, when we are pressed, persecuted, and crushed, do we gladly boast about our Jesus as Paul and Timothy did? Have we filled our hearts with His word?
I noticed the lemons that had been softened, pierced, and squeezed were in a mess all over my counter! Isn’t that how we come to Him sometimes? We feel our lives are a mess, our hearts are a mess, and we are just painfully broken. Psalm 147:3 NKJV reminds us that, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds…” I didn’t realize that I had allowed my heart to become hard. My heart WAS like a lemon. It took making lemonade at three o’clock in the morning to reveal this to me. I was bitter, I was sour, and the only one who could fix it was Jesus.
The last step to making the lemonade was to add sugar and water. “O taste and see that the Lord is good…” Psalm 34:8 NKJV. Jesus and Holy Spirit bring sweetness to our lives just as sugar and water turn sour, bitter lemonade into something sweet!
It’s the month of February ladies, and I encourage you to check your own hearts to make sure there’s nothing holding back the love He wants you to pour out. He has to fix things that are broken so they can function as they were created to do. It’s time we allow Him to tear down our walls, soften our stony hearts, give us new ones, and use them for what they were intended for…TO LOVE!
Kylee Herndon is currently serving alongside her husband, Scotty Herndon as Lead Pastors in East Dublin at Lighthouse Church of God. They have served in various areas of ministry for 11 years. Kylee leads worship and seeks to encourage those around her by showing and sharing the love and joy that only Jesus can give. Kylee is currently a third-grade teacher at East Laurens Elementary in her 12thyear of teaching.