Love this story or not, you will
not be able to have tea in a tea cup again without thinking of this.
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 made to suit himself and 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, I cried." He only shook
his head and said, "Not yet." Then suddenly he puts 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. 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.
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 tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a
little talk with the Potter. He is waiting for you!