Are you currently being hit with one trial, test, or difficulty after another? Are you wondering when or if things will ever start improving and getting back to normal? Do you feel exhausted, frazzled, and squeezed to the very last drop?

This is exactly how I was feeling one day not long ago—as though I was giving ceaselessly, only to have to continue doing so without any reward. I felt frazzled, spent, and empty. How can I go on? I silently pleaded. How much more can I take?

God’s response came later that day as I squeezed lemons. His voice gently whispered in my thoughts: Don’t you enjoy drinking lemonade?

Do I ever! It’s been my favorite fruit drink for as long as I can remember.

Would this favorite drink of yours be possible without squeezing each of these lemons to the last drop?

At that moment, I understood that I was somewhat like the lemons I was squeezing. God was allowing me to be squeezed by trial after trial in order to bring out the very best in me. I thought of all the times when either a song or an article was born in me as the result of some sort of experience that initially hurt, or even downright crushed me.

You have a great advantage over the lemons you are squeezing, He continued.

What’s that?

Unlike the lemons, whose skins you throw away after all the juice has been squeezed out, you are a living being who I always renew and refill once the squeezing has been completed and the best in you has been brought out.

I like to refer to this cycle of being squeezed to the last drop and then renewed and refilled as “the lemonade cycle.” This term reminds me that although what I’m going through may seem sour as a lemon, or though I may feel just like a lemon that’s being squeezed, God has a plan.

If you find yourself being “squeezed to the last drop,” take heart in the knowledge that God will renew and refill you so that you can continue to give to others. Let the “lemonade cycle” run its course, and you’ll be surprised by how far the sweetness that is being brought out in you will go.