"It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way
you carry it." ~~ Lena Horne
A couple 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
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, "You don't understand. 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!" "Leave 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. "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...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 the 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 it!!",
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 time. 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 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 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 finished product. Now
you are what I had in mind when I first began with you."
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 teacup, sit down and think about this
story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.
If you knew who walked beside you at all times, you would never be afraid.
When your day is the most challenging and distressing that it's ever been, and you
wonder how in the world you can possibly go on, remember you are not alone.
Remember to pray. You'll feel better about everything.