There was a daughter who complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it, and wanted to give up. She was tired of all the fighting and struggling, because it seemed as though in solving one problem, two more would arise. Her father, who was a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and the last he placed ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil without saying a word. She impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then he ladled the coffee out and poured it in a cup.
Turning to her he asked. “Darling, what do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. So, he brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. She smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. Still she was confused, so she asked “What’s your point?” Her father smiled, and explained that each of them had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently.
The carrots went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after being subjected to the boiling water, they softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water the insides became hardened. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were placed in the boiling water, they actually changed the water. “So” the father asked “Which are you? When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean”?
How about you? Are you the carrot that seems hard, but with pain and adversity do you wilt and become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg, which starts off with a changeable heart, but after difficult times… you have become hardened and stiff? It could be that your shell looks the same, but are you tough with a stiff spirit and heart? Or are you like the coffee bean? You see, the bean changes the hot water, the thing that is bringing the pain. When the water reaches its peak temperature, it just tastes better.
If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and make things better around you. When people talk about you, your praises to the Lord increase. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, your worship elevates to another level. When it seems like all hope is lost, you point people to the one that holds the whole world in his hand.
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? Let us pray, “Lord, please help me to be like the coffee bean!”