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
Her father, 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.
The daughter sucked her teeth and impatiently waited,
wondering what he was doing. In about twenty minutes he and
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.
She humbly asked. "What does it mean Father?"
He explained that each of them had faced the same adversity,
boiling water, but each reacted differently.
The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. But after
being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became
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," he asked his daughter. "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
Are you the egg, which starts off with a malleable heart? Were
you a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a divorce, or a
layoff have you become hardened and stiff. Your shell looks
the same, but are you bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and
Or are you like the coffee bean? The bean changes the hot
water, the thing that is bringing the pain, to its peak flavor
reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water gets the
hottest, 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, do your praises to the Lord
increase? When the hour is the darkest and trials are their
greatest, does your worship elevate to another level?
How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a
II Corinthians 4:8-9 - We are troubled on every side, yet not
distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but
not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
by Eric Mansfield