Summary: If we dont’ want to become weakened or hardened in adversity, but change the world around us, we must throw aside our own efforts at self-betterment and trust Christ with our lives.
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 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?” (Eric Reed, Leadership Journal; www.Preaching Today.com)
And I would ask you the same question: When adversity knocks on your door, which are you? Do you become weakened through adversity? Do you become hardened in your own heart? Or do you change the world around you for the better?
Mark 10:46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. (NIV)
Bartimaeus literally means “son of the honored one.” But as you can see, he was anything but. He was blind. He was a beggar. His condition was a mockery to his name.
No doubt, he was an embarrassment to his family. Can’t you see Bart’s dad as he interacts with the other men in Jericho? One pulls up in a cart with a bumper sticker that says, “I’m the proud parent of a Jericho High School honor student.” Another man brags that his son is a successful lawyer in the big city – Jerusalem. & Still another says, “My boy is entering the ministry. Rabbi says he should do real well. By the way, Timaeus – oh honored one – what’s your boy doing these days.”
“Oh yea, where at?”
“Well…his office is just outside the city.”
“Oh, I get it. He’s that blind beggar that sits there everyday asking for a handout. Too bad.”
Bartimaeus did not bring honor to his family. He brought shame, but he didn’t let that keep him from Christ.
Mark 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (NIV)
Despite his condition, he called out to Jesus.
Mark 10:48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (NIV)
The citizens of the city are embarrassed. Here, this VIP has come to town and Blind Bart is making a scene. They try to shush him up, but he only shouts louder & longer, “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!" “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!” “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”
He isn’t about to let anybody or anything stop him from getting close to Jesus, and neither should we. If you want to become a world-changer in the midst of adversity, then…
DON’T LET ANYTHING OR ANYONE KEEP YOU FROM CHRIST.
Don’t let your circumstances. Don’t let other people. Don’t even let your own embarrasment keep you from calling out to Christ.
In the movie, First Knight, King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are celebrating their wedding during which several guests participate in the challenge of the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is an elevated obstacle course comprised of a hundred moving parts, including whirling balls and swinging blades. No one has ever successfully navigated the Gauntlet before, but the young men line up for the chance to run the course. The prize for making it through is a place of honor at Arthur’s table and a kiss from the queen. The young men suit up in huge padded outfits to protect themselves and then hurtle through the course.