Are you a potato, an egg or a coffee bean? | Faith | The Press and Standard

by | November 6, 2016 5:00 am

Last Updated: November 2, 2016 at 1:58 pm

“Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble,” according to Job 14:1 (KJV). I have often heard my mother, Rev. Dr. Evelyn Stevens, say, “If you have lived on this earth and have never had any trouble, just keep on living!” That fact has already been established in the Word of the Lord.
However, it is what you do when you face that adversity. Some of us just flat out give up. Some cry day-in and day-out. Some turn to feelings of hate and bitterness. Some complain daily to anyone who will listen. If your soul has been anchored in the Lord, everything will ultimately be all right because trouble is not going to last forever.
The past few weeks have been very trying times for my family and me. At times, I did not know if I was going or coming, but I kept on because God had spoken, so there was nothing I could do except pray and be there for my family, comforting them in every way that I could, and willingly assisting with arrangements.
Well, what did the Gelzer and Daniels Families experience? We had four losses in just a matter of three weeks. My mother lost her last two brothers, Mr. Hallum Gelzer and Mr. Booker Gelzer on Oct. 10 and Oct. 21, respectively. Just prior to Uncle Hallum’s passing, I took my mother, her sister Mrs. E. Juanita Gerald and my grandson Kimell Varnado to Florida to visit Uncle Booker, given how ill we heard that he had become. While there, my mother had a serious fall and fractured her elbow.
Going back to our losses, my nephew and his wife, the Rev. and First Lady Keith Stevens, lost their unborn daughter. Further, we lost a member of my mother’s family on her mother’s side (the Daniels,) Mr. Kendrick Daniels, better known as “Mr. T.” “When it rains, it pours, but the sun is going to shine again soon.”
Then right after all of these deaths occurred, we got the sad news that our niece-in-law and nephew on my husband Herman’s side of the family, Attorney and Mrs. Kelvin Wright lost her mother, Mrs. Peggy Mohammed. My God, my God!
What we have to do is realize that “God has spoken, so let the church say, ‘Amen.’” It is during times like these families have to come together and be there for those whose faith levels are weak. Everyone is not going to be able to cope in adverse situations, so it is up to those of us, the strong, to be there for them to show them that “God is too just to do wrong, and too wise to make a mistake.” In the words of one of my former 16-year-old students, “You never get over losing a loved one, but you learn to cope.” Further, prayer works every time; just go into your “secret closet,” and have a little talk with Jesus.
When adversity strikes you and or your family, think about the moral of this anonymously published story, “Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans.”
“Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
“Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
“He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
“After 20 minutes, he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.
“He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked, ‘Daughter, what do you see?’
“’Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,’ she hastily replied.
“’Look closer,’ he said, ‘and touch the potatoes.’ 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. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“’Father, what does this mean?’” she asked.
“He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs, and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.
“The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
“However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“’Which are you,’ he asked his daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?’”
Moral: In life, things happen around us, and things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us. Which one are you?
Remember to exercise your right to vote next week.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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