A cup of coffee on life
If you are alive, chances are good that life will throw you a curve ball or sometimes even more than that. And being a child of God does not necessarily mean that you will always catch those curve balls. On the contrary. So the question is not whether life will throw us curve balls, because that is a given. The question rather is what my reaction to the curve ball will be.
When a young woman went crying to her mother, dejectedly describing her life as if she wanted to give up, her mother took her by the hand and led her to the kitchen without another word. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she put some carrots; in the second, some eggs; and in the third, ground coffee beans.
She put all three on the stove and brought them to the boil … Twenty minutes later she switched off the plates. She took the carrots from the pot, then the eggs and lastly, the lovely aromatic coffee, and asked her daughter: “What do you see?” … “Carrots, eggs and coffee,” she answered.
The mother asked her to feel the carrots … they were boiled soft. She peeled the egg and made the daughter feel the hard-boiled egg … Then she poured her a lovely aromatic cup of coffee.
“Each of these endured the same crisis – BOILING WATER”, explained her mother. “But each responded differently. The carrot went into the water hard relentless, but came out soft and weak.
The egg was fragile and soft. The thin shell protected the liquid contents but the boiling water hardened the egg. The ground coffee beans reacted in a unique way. IN STEAD OF changing, it changed the BOILING WATER in which it was.”
“Which one are you?” she asked her daughter. “When crises and pain come calling, how do you respond? Like the egg, carrot or coffee beans?” “Many people succumb to the pressure of crises and become powerless … Others apparently look the same on the outside and on the inside, but actually, inside they become hard as rock. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could respond like the coffee beans?” (Anonymous)
God does not only support us, He also shapes us in difficult times. It’s not always nice to hear this and sometimes it sounds like cheap comfort, but God does use times of crisis to our benefit. He cuts off those things that do not fit in with his picture of us. Many times this hurts and is really not nice to experience.
Just take Paul as an example. He was in prison. In those times circumstances were quite different from today. No TV. No beds. No nothing, but still he had the wisdom to use correctly the circumstances in which he found himself correctly. He didn’t jump up and down, scolding God, because God had turned away from him. He didn’t throw his toys out of the cot. He saw through the crisis and used it to encourage others. Not only those to whom he addressed the letter, but millions of others after that as well.
12I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered.
Very carefully, without offering cheap comfort, I would like to invite you to make a cup of coffee and sit down in a quiet place. Then ask God for wisdom and insight so that you will know how to respond to the hurtful and difficult times in your life.
What do your crises do to you?
Do you see God’s picture?
How can God be glorified through this?
Lord, let’s be honest. It’s not easy. Life is not always very easy. The crises in our lives break and hurt us and tire us out. Some totally pull us apart. And I don’t always see your picture. I don’t understand it. I need wisdom. Lots of wisdom. Show me your picture and help me to respond to my crises in a way that glorifies your Name. Amen