by Don Jacobson

Over the last couple decades of working in Christian publishing, I’ve met hundreds of Christian leaders who are passionate about sharing hope. I’ve been working with Reggie for a few years now, and I love that the Orange community shares that same passion for encouragement.

At the same time, you’ve probably noticed that many of those around us are discouraged. People are struggling with unemployment, under-employment, overwhelming debt, untreated medical concerns, lack of access to education, military deployment of loved ones, divorce and single parenthood, anxiety, depression, bankruptcy, disillusionment…sadly, the list goes on and on.

Life has thrown a basket of lemons at a lot of us and it’s tough to hold on to hope.

I was swapping stories with some friends, and we were talking about people in our lives who have been barraged by some really sour circumstances. A funny thing happened while we were talking: our conversation switched to stories about miraculous provision in our times of greatest need—the perfect job, an anonymous gift, reconciliation with a loved one, relief of a heavy burden. Hearing those stories of hope encouraged me. Sometimes it’s just when we think life can’t get any worse that something sweet happens and gives us hope.

One of my favorite things about Orange is its emphasis on community. “When you’re Orange, you’re not alone.” During that chat with my friends, I realized something very powerful: even when we can’t physically fix all of the problems in our friends’ lives, we can give each other the gift of story. You may not be able to help pay your friend’s medical bills, but you can talk about the times in your life when lemonade happened and you unexpectedly discovered hope.

Do you know someone who needs to hear a story about hope today? What about you?

Don Jacobson is a friend of Orange and the creator of Lemonade Books, a series of books that tell true stories about everyday folks discovering something sweet amidst sour circumstances. He’d love to hear your story and he pays for stories published in future books. Find out how to purchase a copy of God Makes Lemonade or submit your story at their website. Also, follow God Makes Lemonade on Facebook and Twitter.