Psalm 77:8–9: “Has His mercy ceased forever? / Has His promise failed forevermore? / Has God forgotten to be gracious? / Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? / Selah”

December 20th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

After asking a series of questions about God, the psalmist writes “Selah,” which is an indicator that we are to stop and consider the things we are reading. If God has loved us in the past, and we find ourselves in difficult times, what are the chances that His attitude toward us has changed? This subject, can God’s character change, is worth stopping and considering. Of course the only answer is, no, as one of God’s fundamental, intrinsic elements is that He is unchanging. If we find ourselves in the midst of trials, doubting God’s character, thinking He has changed, we need to stop and ask ourselves who has really changed?

A young teenage girl was complaining to her father, a Chinese chef, about the hardships in her life. He looked at her a moment and then took her to the kitchen. He filled 3 pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first pot he placed carrots, in the second eggs, and the third, ground coffee beans. He watched them boil, without saying a word. The daughter waited, wondering what he was doing. After 20 minutes, he turned off the burners, fished out the carrots, and placed them in a bowl. He did the same with the eggs, placing them a bowl; and the coffee, pouring it into a bowl. Turning to her he asked, “Daughter, what do you see.” “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. The father explained, “Look carefully; they’ve all changed. Each of them faced the same adversity, boiling water, but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong and hard, but came out weak and soft. The egg went in fragile, just a thin outer shell; but came out hard inside. The coffee beans however were unique; instead of being changed by the boiling water, they changed the water. Which are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how will you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Will we be like the carrot, previously firm and strong, but when we go through hardships we become soft, weakly losing faith in God? Will we be like the egg, originally gentle and meek, but after hardship, hardened and embittered against God? Or will we be like the coffee bean, where the hot water does not change us, but we change the hot water? If we trust the Lord and believe His promises to us, then even in difficult times, we can change the taste of the water around us and give off an aroma that transforms the environment.

“LORD, strengthen us to become more like thermostats than thermometers. We don’t want to reflect the room temperature but change it, in Jesus’ name.”