Friday, April 13, 2012

Finding God in Adversity...

As much as I would have loved to have come up with this myself, this post was copied from the Cowboys-4-Christ Facebook page.  Please support them by "liking" their page.  

A daughter 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. It seemed as though in solving one problem, two more would arise.

Her father, 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 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 poured it in a cup.

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 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 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?


In the face of adversity, how do YOU respond?
Do you become weak?  Do you become strong?
Or do you do even more... and take that hardship, and turn it into something amazing.

Consider Bethany Hamilton, Nick Vujicic, or this little boy:

Those people are testaments to doing MORE than surviving.  Those people are like the "coffee" - they changed the atmosphere and the people around them - by sharing their stories (both the good things AND the hard things), and by going out and LIVING... out loud.

But, some scars people have are hidden... pushed deep down in a dark place so that they can manage each day without falling apart.  To these people I give my prayers and encouragement that they find, at least ONE person, to whom they can unburden themselves.  Because sometimes, all you need is to open the door a crack to start the healing.

A favorite show of mine is Grey's Anatomy.  In one of the episodes, the Chief of Staff stops one of his interns from wallowing in her perceived failures with this quote:
Chin up.  Put your shoulders back, walk proud, strut a little.
Don't lick your wounds; celebrate them.
The scars you bear are the signs of a competitor.
You're in a lion fight.  
Just because you didn't win [that time] doesn't mean you don't know how to roar.

The scars you have, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, do NOT have to define you.  You are not broken.   And sometimes... many times... surviving = winning.  And you are never alone in your fight... God is with you.

God's the one who rebuilds Jerusalem, 
      who regathers Israel's scattered exiles. 
   He heals the heartbroken 
      and bandages their wounds. 
   He counts the stars 
      and assigns each a name. 
   Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; 
      we'll never comprehend what he knows and does. 
   God puts the fallen on their feet again 
      and pushes the wicked into the ditch.
Psalm 147:3 (MSG)

So when you are faced with a hardship, a problem, or a catastrophe, at the very least, try to be the egg - get stronger with each hard moment.  And eventually, you might find that you can become the coffee bean.  Because you can affect others with your strength, endurance, and perseverance.  That's #WINNING. 

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1 comment:

Tammy E. said...

Awesome, and very needed, especially for someone very special to me. I passed it on to that person. Thanks for following God's lead