Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What has COVID-19 made you?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

It has now been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, it has claimed millions of lives and changed how each of us relates to and navigates the world. All of us have been affected, but how has the pandemic impacted our lives these past 14 months? Here is a story that may explain how we have coped and reacted during these difficult times.

A young woman went to her grandmother 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 grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water.  In the first, she placed carrots, in the second, she placed eggs, and in the last, she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil on the gas stove 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 granddaughter, 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 had become 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 granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked. “What’s the point, Grandma?”  Her grandmother 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 its inside became hardened after sitting through the boiling water. The ground coffee beans were unique! After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.  

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter.

“When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?”

“Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

What about you and me? Which are we?

Are we the carrot that seems strong, but do we wilt and become soft and lose our strength with pain and adversity?

Are we the egg that starts with a malleable heart but changes with the heat? Did we have a fluid spirit, but after adversity, have we become hardened and stiff? Does our shell look the same, but on the inside, are we bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or are we 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 flavour. If we are like the bean, when things are at their worst, we get better and change our situation. 

Only the pure Gospel has the power to transform lives. Only God's message of salvation can change each of us into a new creation in Christ—giving us a new heart and making us holy. His love changes everything, and by His grace, we can see our lives changed forever by the proclamation of Christ's love.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Messages with Meaning (11/05/21) written by Peter Francis for Your542Day 


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