A young woman went to visit her grandma and told her 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 fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pans with water and placed each one on a burner and turned the temperature knobs on high. Soon the pans began to boil. In the first she 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 twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see” “Carrots, eggs and coffee,” she replied. Her grandma brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, grandma asked her granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. She then asked, “What does it mean?” Her wise grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity–boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it 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, 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 granddaughter “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 ground 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 worse, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are the greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13
Spiritual story by unknown.