By: Joyce Meyer from "New Day-New You"
"A young couple was shopping for antiques one day in an exclusive store and took notice to one of the most beautiful tea cups they had ever seen sitting on a shelf. They knew immediately that they had to buy it. As they stood there admiring it, then they were shocked to hear it begin to speak.
You know what? I didn’t always look like this, said the beautiful teacup. There was a time when nobody wanted me. There was a time when I wasn’t attractive at all. You see I was just an old lump of clay. But one day this potter came along and he began to pat me, form me and mold me. I said to the potter, “What are trying to do? That hurts! I’m uncomfortable! Leave me alone!” But the potter smiled and said, “Not yet.”
He then put me on the potter’s wheel, said the tea cup. And he spun me around and around andI began to get dizzy. I didn’t like it, but eventually, I took on a different shape. He formed me into this tea cup. I thought he was through with me, but all of a sudden he put me into a furnance. It was so hot in there, Icould not stand it. I thought I was going to die! And when he came to check on me, I could see him through the glass in the furnance and he had a sparkle in his eye. I screamed out to him, “Hey let me out of here!” He just smiled and said, “Not yet.”
Finally after a long time, he took me out and put me on the shelf, said the tea cup. I thought, thank God it is finally over. Now I can get back to being my normal self. But then the potter came back over and began to paint me with this sticky paint. I didn’t like it. It smelled terrible! I thought I was going to choke. And I told him, “Leave me alone!” But again, he just said, “Not yet.”
Then he put me into a second oven that was twice as hot as the first. And I thought for sure it was all over. This time I thought it was going to be the end of me. When he came to check on me, I said, “Listen, I am serious. I can’t take this anymore!” But once again he just smiled and said, “Not yet.”
Finally he took me out and after a couple of days I cooled off. He came by and handed me a mirror. And when I looked into that mirror, I could not believe how beautiful I was. I could not believe how much I have changed. I did not look like anything like that the hard lump of clay that I started out to be. Now I am this beautiful tea cup and everybody wants me. But always remember there was a time, when nobody wanted me. But now, all because of the potter I am valuable. He made something special out of my life.
There may be things going on inside of us that we do not understand, but when we finally arrive at the place where GOD wants to bring us, we will see how it has prepared us for what God wanted fo us all along."
We were talking about this on tuesday night with some friends. This story just really struck me! We were talking about how difficult it can be to go through hard times in our lives and one of us brought up the point that it is during those times of hardship and sometimes heartache that we grow closer to the Lord. Why? Because we have to learn to throw ourselves onto Him and rely on Him for day-to-day strength. It is interesting to me...as I look back on my life I have come to realize that while those times are so hard and painful at times, God has so much good for us in store as a result. Jesus never said that a life lived for Him would be easy BUT He did promise to be with us every single step of the way...and in the end we can look back and see all the lessons that we have learned and the obstacles we have overcome. Just think...God is the potter and we are the clay and we are His masterpiece. Neat huh?
5 hours ago