When things are at their worst, you will get stronger and make things better around you, and you will always leave a fragrance.
A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her. She said, “Father, I do not know how I am going to make it. I just feel like giving up. I’m tired of fighting and struggling. It seems as though every time one of my problems is solved, a new one comes along. I just can’t take it anymore.”
Her father took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed them each on high heat. Soon the pots came to a boil. In one pot of boiling water, he placed carrots. In the second, he placed eggs, and in the last pot, he placed coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word. The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
Twenty minutes later, he turned off the burners. He strained the water from the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He lifted the eggs out and placed them in another bowl. Then he ladled the steaming coffee into a bowl.
Turning to her he asked, “What do you see?” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. He brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft and mushy. 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 flavor and smelled the rich aroma.
She humbly asked, “But what does it mean, Father?” He explained that each of them had been plunged into boiling water, but each had reacted differently. The carrot went into the water strong and hard but after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its soft, liquid interior. But after sitting in the boiling water, it became hard on the inside.
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, the water did not really change them. They changed the water!
“Which are you?” the father gently asked his daughter.
“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you more like a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
How about you? Are you the carrot that started out strong and hard long ago, but with the pain and adversity of your life struggles, did you become soft and lose your strength? Are you the egg that started out soft inside? Were you a fluid spirit, but after the pain of death, abuse, rejection, poor health, divorce, or a layoff, have you become hardened? Your outer shell might look the same, but have you become hard-boiled and toughened in your spirit and your heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean that was plunged into the rapidly boiling water actually changed the hot water and gave it flavor and aroma, reaching its peak flavor at 212 degrees Fahrenheit! THAT IS HOT WATER!
When people say bad things about you, do your praises to the Lord continue or do you blame Him? When the hour is the darkest and your trials are their greatest, does your worship elevate to a higher level or do you desert Him?
When you feel burdened by your own troubles, do you still reach out and help others? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean? When you get plunged into hot water, anything that is bringing you pain, like being plunged into the adversities of life, be like the coffee bean. When things are at their worst, you will get stronger and make things better around you, and … you will always leave a fragrance.
In what state are you in?
New Year, a gift of new beginning.
We are all encouraged to have a mind free of distractions and a heart for God for the challenges ahead. Whoever you are, whatever you might be doing. To be in this state of grace, we have to give ourselves freely to Christ and remove everything that is not from Him. One common hindrance we all have is that we have been hurt in the past, and still in the present, by adversities, offenders and bad memories. Or perhaps tons of bad memories?
In experiencing this somehow, we had a change of mindset and outlook in life. Like the story above. It’s either we have become too defensive, judgemental and worse, hardened or weakened by our experiences.
Press that refresh button
Sure we all had our “egg and carrot” days. But! New beginnings, somehow make us think again and realize something. That we are not alone and God will always be there for us to turn our deepest pains into our biggest blessings and our hurts into wisdom. We can be refreshed, and yes we can be transformed like the coffee, always leaving a fragrance in the greatest moment of adversity. So friend, press that refresh button and be ready to take your matters to our ultimate blesser, protector, and confidant, Jesus Christ. And you’ll be surprised how things will change. Get ready to be blessed.
Here’s an activity that I want you to do: First, reflect and answer these questions below. And WRITE (I believe writing can make this activity more powerful) a PERSONAL prayer to God, asking for healing, enlightenment, strength and forgiveness.
- What are the events in your life that has overwhelmed you lately? In what ways did it change you?
- Have you ever considered that MAY BE your actions actually led you to those negative situations?
- In your wise judgement what do you think would be the best for your situation?
Be like coffee
When we become like the coffee and are able to make things better around us, people will start to see and experience Jesus Christ in us. And through us, others can experience God’s peace and healing.
Let the grace of God overflow in our lives.
Oh and by the way, why don’t you share with me your coffee story in the comments section below? I’ll be reading them all.
Have a blessed 2017!
Mark Lester Fernando
- I really love this story about the carrot, egg and the coffee. There are many versions from the internet but I decided to quote the version shared by Sir Francis Kong in his website. You can visit his page at http://franciskong.com/the-carrot-egg-and-the-coffee/
- Photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cup-of-coffee-beside-sack-of-coffee-beans-70221/