Adversity – Friend or Foe?

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

A young lady visited her mother and was complaining about how bad things were and all the tough times she was facing. She asked her mother for advice. Her mother taught her a great lesson.

Her mother had just been to the grocery store. She asked her daughter to take from the grocery bag two carrots, two eggs and some coffee beans. The mother then put three different pots of water on the stove and started to boil the water in each pot. She then put the carrots in one pot, the eggs in another and the coffee beans in the third pot. After a few minutes of allowing them to boil, she took out the carrots and eggs and put them in a bowl. Then she took a ladle and dipped some of the coffee into a cup.

The mother asked her daughter to touch the items again. Before boiling, the carrots were course and hard. After boiling, they became soft and pliable. Before boiling, the eggs were very fragile with a liquid center. After boiling, they had a hard shell. Before boiling, the coffee was just beans. After boiling, it had a rich aroma and fresh taste of coffee.

The mother looked at her daughter and said, “It is your choice. When you face adversity, how do you respond? You can be softened like a carrot, hardened like an egg, or you can be like the coffee bean and change the water into wonderful coffee.”

How we handle adversity is a choice. Adversity makes some people – it breaks others. Adversity can either be a burden or a blessing. Adversity can be a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Adversity can be an obstacle or an opportunity. It’s your choice.

In May 2017 Amanda Coker, 24 years old, set new records for biking. The woman’s record was 29,603 miles in a year. The men’s record was 76,076 miles. On May 15, 2016 to May 14, 2017 Amanda biked 86,573 miles! That’s 237 miles per day, 12 hours a day.

Why did she do this? Adversity stuck her in 2011 when she had surgery to repair a hole in her heart. Three months later she was hit by a car while riding her bike and suffered a traumatic brain injury, a spinal injury, a broken leg, and numerous other injuries. She also had to overcome Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine, Tropical storm Colin, floods, lightening and temperatures ranging from 27 degrees to 114 degrees. The tougher the situation, the more she produced. The adversity spurned her on to set a biking record.

Read the story of Joseph. His life was full of adversity – but it prompted him to achieve more than anyone else in his day. How to handle adversity is your choice. Adversity can increase your dependence upon God – which is the secret to using adversity instead of succumbing to it.

Regardless of your age all your adversity is not behind you. There will be adversity in front of you and may be around the next corner. The only man whose problems are all behind him is a school bus driver!

Adversity can be your friend or a foe. What it makes out of you is your choice. The greatest resource you have is to ask God to show you how to turn something bad into something good. April showers can bring May flowers!


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