Faith / Life Lessons / Personal Struggles

Coffee: A Yield in Due Time

Coffee is a unique beverage dating back to the 10th Century.  The Coffee bean is actually a seed that comes from the fruit of the Coffea plant.  It’s thought to have originated from Ethiopia.  Legend has it, that a 9th Century goat-herder from the region, named Kaldi, was tending his flock and noticed how they became invigorated after chewing on some red berries from a nearby bush.  He in turn tried it himself, and was pleased with the energizing effects, so he took a sample to a local monastery.  The monk who examined the berries was displeased and threw them into the fire, where legend has it, they gave off an enticing aroma;  this caused other monks to draw near and investigate.  Soon they had raked up the roasted beans, ground them into a power and added hot water;  Voila, the first cup of joe!

Photo:George Hodan
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Traders from the middle east soon got ahold of the beans and brought them back to their homeland.  The first records of coffee production and knowledge date back to 15th century, Yemen.   It was here in the Sufi monasteries that it was used to keep the monks alert during their evening prayer times.

It’s amazing that this delicious bererage comes from a small red berry.  The process includes:   drying the fruit until it turns green, roasting it at 500F, and letting it double in size to the chocolate colored pod we all recognize.

 The mass production of this bean is no small thing.  “Coffee is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, behind only petroleum,” (Global Exchange).  It’s estimated that the world consumes around 12 billion pounds of coffee every year.  Staggering!  But then again, what would we do without it?  Who would think that something so insignificant would have such an impact on the world stage.  I mean it all started from a small seed.

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Many things start out small in this world.  In the Bible, Jesus compares his discipes’s  faith with a mustard seed;   after they were unable to cast out a demon from a young boy.  And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you,” (Matthew 17:20)  So a very small seed of faith, in you, can affect change in your life and the life of those around you.

To change your world you need to change your thinking.  If we continue to walk with a “victim” attitude regarding our difficult circumstances we will not be able to overcome.  I am speaking to myself here.  However, if we surrender to God those things that we are holding on to and let go, knowing that He is able to do the impossible, we can rest.  That’s right, no more striving.  I am convinced that to overcome we need three things:  To know God loves us, To know who we are in Christ (our identity), and to believe and proclaim His promises (no matter how long it takes).

Photo:Lynn Greyling
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God is faithful.  I am reminded of how God promised Abraham a son, back in the day.   How long did it take?  One year, no.  Two, no.  Twenty-Five, Yes!   “God first revealed to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations when he called him to leave his country and go to the land God would show him.  Abraham was 75 years old.  Fifteen years later, when Abraham was 90, God renewed his promise.  Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son,” (Renee Miller, “In the Fullness of Time“).  Yet, Abraham believed.  He waited a long time to see God’s promise fulfilled but God was faithful.

Abraham had faith.  Do you have faith regarding your present circumstances?  Have you been waiting a long time for God’s promise’s to come to pass in your life?  God has not forgotten you.

Sometimes he needs to build character in us first before he can bless us.  I once heard someone say that “God took the Israelites out of Egypt, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of the Israelites,” (unknown).

“The way of holiness is not achieved through hurriedness, busy-ness, or instant production. The way of God is the way of waiting,” (Renee Miller, “In the Fullness of Time“)

Photo:Alex Borland
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Just as the Coffea plant does not spring up overnight, but can take up to 10 years to come into it’s prime.  The promises of God and the seed of our faith, will yield a harvest, in due time. “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.  See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near,” (James 5:7-8).

References:  Wikipedia, The Oatmeal 15 things to know about Coffee, Global Exchange Coffee FAQ, Explorefaith.org, “In the Fullness of Time”