There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques & pottery & especially teacups.
One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful cup. They said, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful."
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the cup spoke. "You don't understand," it said. "I haven't always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red & I was clay. My master took me & rolled me & patted me over & over & I yelled out, 'let me alone,' but he only smiled, 'Not yet.'
"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the cup said, "and suddenly I was spun around & around & around. Stop it! I'm getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded & said, 'Not yet.'
"Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat!" the teacup said. "I wondered why he wanted to burn me & I yelled & knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening & I could read his lips as He shook his head, 'Not yet.'
"Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf & I began to cool. ‘There, that's better,' I said. And he brushed & 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 & I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening, nodding his head saying, 'Not yet.'
"Then I knew there wasn't any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened & he took me out & placed me on the shelf.
One hour later he handed me a mirror & 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 & patted, but if I 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 knew it hurt & was hot & 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 & 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.
And if I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't survive for very 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.'"
May we all see ourselves & God's creative mastery in this story.
~ Author Unknown (creativebiblestudy.com)
Then the LORD said to me, "Don't I have the right to do with you people of Israel what the potter did with the clay? You are in my hands just like clay in the potter's hands. (Jer 18:5-6 GNB)
“Life's trials are not easy. But in God's will, each has a purpose. Often He uses them to enlarge you.” - Warren Wiersbe.