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.

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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 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

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?

If you would like to be a world-changer in times of adversity, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 10, Mark 10, where we see how a blind man did it in Jesus’ day.

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.”

“Well…ah…uh…he’s into…charity.”

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