There was a couple who used to go England to shop in a beautiful store. This was their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery and especially tea-cups. They said, "May we see that? We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful."
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea-cup spoke, "You don’t understand." It said, "I have not always been a tea-cup. There was a time when I was red clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, "Let me alone," but he only smiled, "Not yet!!"
"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ’Stop it !! I’m getting dizzy!’ I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ’Not yet.’
Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head, ’Not yet’.
"Finally, the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ’Stop it, Stop it!!’ I cried. He only nodded, ’Not yet!’.
Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf.
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. I’m beautiful.’
"I want you to remember, then,’ he said,
I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I just had 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 hurts 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.
I know the second oven was hotter than the first, but if I hadn’t put you there, you wouldn’t survive for long because the hardness would not have held.
Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you." God knows what He’s doing. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mould us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.
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