This has been making the rounds on e-mail. Makes a great object lesson for any age!!
You may never look at a CUP OF COFFEE the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her 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 fighting and struggling.

It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity--boiling water--but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.

However after being subjected to the boiling water, it 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, 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?" she asked her daughter. " When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you can get better and change the situation around you with God's help. How do you handle adversity? When the hours are the darkest and the trials are their greatest, do you ask God to elevate you to another level?

When adversity strikes, ask yourself...ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Neat Karin. I get alot of 'forwards' on email--which I mostly delete. BUT this one is really good. Would be a great sermon--so give a copy to your minister!!!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

I read this quite a while back. Thanks for posting it so I could read it again. It is one of the good ones out there.


Karabeth said...

I think I've been a carrot, an egg, and coffee at various times of my life. I'm trying very hard to remain coffee. I've been through a lot of trials within the last year so obviously the Lord has been doing a lot of perking lately. (Hope He likes His with cream and sugar.) :)

Btw, I'd like to email your 5 questions if that is okay with you. You can contact me at and I'll get those sent. Thanks for offering to be interviewed.

Angela said...

Betsy - I have just passed on a copy to my minister - but that was easy - he's my husband!!
I hadnt seen it before, thanks for sharing!

Cathryn said...

Karin, Thank you for this reprint. I have never read it before ~ it gives one much to think about. Blessings ~ Cathryn

Jenners said...

This was a really interesting post! (I had not seen it before). I'll have to think about it ... sometimes I think I've been an egg, and other times a carrot but I think I'm learning to become a coffee bean .. perhaps that is growth!

Angela said...

Eleanor Roosevelt said "A woman is like a teabag - you never know how strong she is till you put her in hot water"

But I think this is a better story [apologies to the First Lady]

Thanks for dropping by my blog K x

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I used this for an "object lesson" in my ladies Sunday school class a few years ago. Of course I had to boil one egg and carry one raw, cook a carrot and take one raw, and carry coffee grounds dry and also coffee already made. It went over really well. They liked it.

So good to visit your blog again. Thank you so much for leaving the beautiful poem on my blog about FIRE! It was great!

God bless,

Betty said...

I loved this. It´s something to think about.