There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful
antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both
liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an
exceptional cup, they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup
quite so beautiful."
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, "You don't
understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I
was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded
and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'Don't do that. I don't
like it! Let me alone.' But he only smiled, and gently said; 'Not yet!'"
"Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun
around and around and around. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm
going to be sick,' I screamed. But the master only nodded and said,
quietly; 'Not yet.'
"He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit
himself and then… Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I
yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. Help! Get me out of here! I
could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook
his head from side to side, 'Not yet'."
"When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He
carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh,
that felt so good! Ah, this is much better, I thought. But, after I
cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The
fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Oh, please; Stop it, Stop
it!' I cried. He only shook his head and said. 'Not yet!'."
"Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the
first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I
begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would
never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and
he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and
waited ------- and waited, wondering "What's he going to do to me next?
An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself.'" "And
I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful.
Quietly he spoke: 'I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it
hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone,
you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the
wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt
and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you
there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed
and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would
have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I
hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for
long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished
product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you."
The moral of this story is this: God knows what He's doing for each of
us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us,
and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we
may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing
and perfect will.
So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed
almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of
control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when
life seems to "stink", try this....
Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and
think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.
[ Author Unknown -- from E-Mail Ministry (firstname.lastname@example.org) ]
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