Who hasn’t heard the saying, “Next time life gives you lemons. . . make lemonade”?
Well every year here in the Dominican Republic during this season, they harvest the sugar cane. As part of the process they burn the left over, unused pulp from the sugar cane. They also burn the fields after they have harvested the cane. The result is VERY poor air quality this time of year. Every day we sweep and mop our floors, but by the end of the day our feet are still black from the soot. At different parts of the day it is all you can do to breathe due to the smoke. It is very hard not to get discouraged by the constant cleaning and inability to breathe.
As many of you know, one of our good friends, Melissa Szydlowski, visited us this week to survey the ministry and see if this might be where God would have her serve next year. Well, the first night she was here, she said, “What smells like ‘toasted marshmallows ?” After sitting there for several seconds and thinking about it, it hit me . . . she was talking about the burning sugar cane smell. As I sat and thought about it, I realized that she was right, the smell was very similar to toasted marshmallows, and who doesn’t like toasted marshmallows? It is amazing how your happiness can change solely based on your perspective or the way you look at things. I was spending my time focused on the bad parts of the sugar cane harvest instead of looking at the good parts.
It reminds me of the disciples in the Bible. Over and over they looked at situations with the wrong perspective and over and over Jesus corrected them and assured them that He was in control. Think about the Storm on the Sea of Galilee, the feeding of the 5,000, or even the Passion Week. So many times the disciples wanted to focus on the storm, the hunger, or the trial instead of focusing on the Savior.
I am not sure what you are going through right now, but I can tell you this with all certainty, JESUS KNOWS and JESUS CARES. (I Peter 5:7) “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Understand that your perspective on life determines your happiness, so, next time life gives you burning sugar cane. . . make s’mores!!