The Failed Lemonade Stand

I was the kind of kid who would do anything to make money. Whether it was washing the car or watching my little brother, I jumped at the chance to make an extra dollar.

In the summer after fifth grade, I decided that I wanted to set up a lemonade stand at our neighborhood pool. My parents said that was fine, but I would have to pay for the supplies.

After recruiting my brother as a co-investor, Mom took me to the grocery store where I learned that investing in a lemonade stand wasn’t cheap. After getting cups, lemonade mix, ice, and a cooler, I realized that I needed to sell a lot of lemonade to make a profit.

As the day went on, I grew more and more disappointed with my results. Even though I sold a few cups of lemonade, I was still in the hole. Worse yet, my business partner/brother had abandoned me to play in the pool. “Does he have to cover more of our debt if I ended up doing all the work?” I asked my mom.

Looking back, I can see that working that lemonade stand taught me a lot about earning money. While I felt like a failure in the moment, I now realize that the situation was a great lesson.

When aspiring to live on mission, we sometimes feel like we’ve failed as well. Maybe you’ve invested in someone, shared the gospel, and prayed for them, but they don’t seem to be making spiritual progress.

In the moment, it can be discouraging. However, we must remember that God calls us to plant the seeds of the gospel, and He will bring about the harvest. In 1 Corinthians 3:7, Paul says, “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (NIV).

When you are tired from living on mission, remember that God is working in ways we can’t always see. We’re called to persevere and trust His perfect plan, which is greater than we could ever imagine.

Rachel Sinclair writes from Birmingham, Alabama, and loves to share people’s stories. Contact her at

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