Friday, March 30, 2012

When You Get in Hot Water

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

A daughter complained to her father about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not 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 father, a chef, took her to the kitchen.  He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.  Soon, each of the pots came to a boil.  In one he placed carrots, in the second he placed eggs, and in the last he placed ground coffee beans.  He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
The daughter 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 a bowl.  Then he ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her he asked. "Darling, 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.  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.
As she sipped the coffee, he explained that each of these items had faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and brittle.  But after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile with its thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior.  But after sitting through the boiling water, it became hardened inside. The ground coffee beans were unique however.  After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. It’s unknown whether the daughter got the message but it seems pretty clear what the message is. 
Are you the carrot that seems strong and tough, but pain and adversity have caused you to lose your strength?  
Are you the egg, which started off with a soft heart and fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a divorce, or a layoff you have become cynical?  Your shell looks the same, but are you now tough with an unyielding spirit and heart?
Or are you like the coffee bean?  The bean changed the hot water.  As a matter of fact, it reaches its peak flavor at 212 degrees.  When the water gets the hottest, it just tastes better.
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Scripture to Claim:
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, (2 Timothy 1:7-8)

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