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“A daughter complained to her father about how hard things were for her. "As soon as I solve one problem," she said, "another one comes up. I’m tired of struggling."


Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen where 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, eggs; and in the last, ground coffee beans. He let them sit and boil, without saying a word.


The daughter impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After a while, he went over and turned off the burners. He fished out the carrots and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He poured the coffee into 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 flavor.


She 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 weak.


The egg was fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside hardened.


The ground coffee beans were unique, however. By being in the boiling water, they changed the water.


He asked his daughter, "When adversity knocks on your door, which are you?"” David P. Barrett. ed. More Perfect Illustrations For Every Topic And Occasion. Eric Reed. “Adversity And The Lesson Of The Coffee Bean”. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2003, p. 8).

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