A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee… Believe me, you will never look at a cup of coffee, or adversity the same way again.
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life, and how things were so hard for her. She said she did not know how she was going to make it, and felt like she just wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling… It seemed as if when one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother calmly took her into the kitchen. She filled three pots with water, and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil.
In the first pot, her mother placed carrots; in the second, she placed eggs; and in the last, she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about 20 minutes, she turned off the burners. She then fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them into a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.
Her mother brought her over closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee… The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.
The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the exact same adversity … boiling water. And each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak, more pliable. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid-like interior, but after sitting in the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Think of this: ‘Which am I?’
Am I the carrot that seems strong… but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit… but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship, or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same… but on the inside am I bitter and tough, with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water… the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.
If you ARE like the bean… when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest… do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?
Count your blessings, not your problems…
Dear Father, I confess that I often let adversity affect me before I seek You and use Your lenses to see my circumstances and situations more clearly. Thank you for not giving up on me, even though I stray from your ways. Thank you for protecting me from situations that would only be harmful and no benefit could come from them. Please help me be humble to your plan for me and your strategy to grow me, so I can see all the situations you bring into my life as opportunities for my growth and to glorify your name. Strengthen me to step up and accept the challenge and let the power of the Holy Spirit flow through me, and not to cringe back and get in the way of Your Spirit. I give thanks for all things You bring in my life.
In Jesus’ name, all God’s people say, AMEN.
And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.