A young woman, Anna, was very distressed. In her own words, she had been living on a treadmill of pain, disappointment, and discouragement. Every time Anna thought herself to be on the verge of a breakthrough, a breakdown came instead.
Key people in her life kept telling her to hope, but she was beginning to believe that hoping was her problem. Anna decided that she’d be better off to just accept the status quo. And if not better off, at least finished with all the heartache that comes from wanting the “more” that always seems so frustratingly out of reach.
Anna was venting so freely at her mother’s one day that she hardly recognized her. Still she listened to her daughter intently and compassionately. When Anna came to the end of her complaint (which seemed to take forever) her mother invited her to come into the kitchen so she could watch her prepare something special.
Anna was confused and quite a bit annoyed as she observed her mother silently filling three pots with water to bring them to a boil. She’d always been a phenomenal cook so boiling water didn’t qualify in the least as something special from her kitchen. Just when she was about to start demanding some kind of explanation Anna saw her add carrots to the first pot, an egg to the second, and coffee beans to the third.
Now she was really starting to get confused. The ingredients didn’t even match. What was she making besides Anna more and more frustrated. The fact that her mother sat watching the boiling pots in total silence made the whole thing that much worse. After 30 minutes or so had gone by, Anna was about to explode when her mother invited her to come “experience” the odd and supposedly special event.
“One by one, touch and taste all these ingredients, Anna dear.” And so she did.
“Describe what the cooking process did to the carrots,” her mother said. Anna replied, “They’re mushy, too soft. Didn’t hold up well at all.”
“What about the egg? What did the cooking process do to it,” her mother asked again. Now Anna said, “Well you know it’s a hard boiled egg. It’s completely hard in the center now.”
Her mother’s voice was so level, “Now what about the coffee,” “Oh, it’s delicious,” said Anna, and somehow that tasty taste had completely changed her mood. “It’s flavorful. We couldn’t have eaten the bitter coffee beans, in this case the boiling made it possible. The boiling made it better.”
“Right now you seem to have the most in common with the carrots but which of the three would you rather be like?” Her mother asked this question so gently, with so much love, Anna felt renewed.
“The coffee beans. I want to be like the coffee beans, Momma.”
How Do We Stand The Heat?
The best (and only) way for Anna and us to respond like the coffee beans, for us to become more flavorful, more aromatic, richer, and stronger with time, is to let ourselves stand God’s cooking process.
The carrot and the egg changed, true enough, but the coffee beans changed on a whole n’other level. The coffee beans transformed.
It’s our attitude about adversity that makes for our breaking, our hardening, or our transformation. It’s how we see it (the adversity) and ourselves inside it. It’s how we see God, too. Will we hold tight to His promise to make us better for it, through it?
I always say about this walk with God, that there are times when the hardest thing to do is nothing. When we want to be delivered and have the power to do something towards that deliverance, but know in our hearts it’s something God wants us to go through, something we have to go through if we are ever to release our inner coffee.
And since it’s never difficult to do nothing when there’s nothing you can do, we won’t go too far into that point. Just know this, that either way, if God has tied your hands in some area of your life right now, I pray that you hold on. I pray you close your eyes and imagine, remember, that it’s Him in the kitchen regulating the heat, adding the spices, stirring up the pot.
And so the challenge is to trust that God won’t overcook you. Of that, you have His “Word purified in the earth seven times” guarantee….so why not be grateful, patient, and hopeful as He boils out all the extra to release the rich aromatic coffee of your soul:-))
PS: I hope you don’t mind (and maybe even enjoyed) my personal adaptation of this familiar story…Thanks for reading and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Blessings & Strength, Alaina:-)