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                 The Tea Cup.... 

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, "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 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 and poked and prodded and bent me out of
shape 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 he 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 put 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
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 want you to remember, then,' he
said, '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 finishproduct. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with
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 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.
by Kath