The Tea Cup
There was a couple who used to go England to shop in a beautiful antique store. This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially tea-cups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that one? We’ve never seen a cup quite so
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 just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded me, and patted me over and over until 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, poked and prodded me, and bent me out of shape to suit himself, and then……
“Then he put me into the oven. I had 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 had cooled, he picked me up and brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were terrible. 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 into the oven. Only, this oven was not like the first one. It was twice as hot, and I just knew that I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced that I
would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened, and he took me out and placed me once again on the shelf. There 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. I’m beautiful!’
“Quietly he spoke: ‘I know that it hurt you to be rolled and pounded and patted, but if I’d left you alone, you would have dried up.
“‘I know that it made you dizzy to be spun around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.
“‘I know that it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.
“‘I know that 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 the 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:
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 tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.
Nothing has been going right this week for us. My husband’s car refused to start or even give back his keys (they’re lodged in the ignition!), we had to have it towed and we’re waiting to hear what the costs will be. So while I’m at work, he has no transportation. P’s been going through a growth spurt and been waking up several times during the night hungry, which exhausts me for the next day of working. Bills are due, errands need to be run and I’m trying to manage everything between calls at work – which is a challenge. This story came at just the right time to remind me that I may think my life may be difficult now, but there’s usually something bigger in the works. P’s growth spurt means she’s healthy and growing. As much as that’s exhausting for me now, it means good things for her!
These temporary trials make us stronger. I think that’s going to be my mantra for the next few days.