I like to collect teacups, so when I get the chance I browse through china shops or antique stores to look for them, there is one shop, in particular, I really enjoy browsing through. One afternoon while I was there I saw a Tea-for One set that I just couldn't go home without. It had a pink rose that joined the teapot perfectly to the cup and the handles looked like a fish and it had gold edging.
I asked the sales clerk if I could see it, stating how beautiful I thought it was, and then the most amazing thing happened . . . the teacup spoke! I haven't always been a teacup, there was a time all I was was a lump of red clay. My Master took me and rolled me and rolled me, then patted me all over and over again. I didn't like it, and I yelled out at him to leave me alone, but he only smiled and said, "Not Yet."
Then I was placed on a spinning wheel, and suddenly I was spinning around and around and around. "Stop!" I cried, "I'm getting dizzy," but my Master only nodded and said, "Not yet." Then he dipped his hands in the water again and kept on spinning me around and around. Then not only was I dizzy I was all wet. When he stopped the wheel I was so relieved until I saw him pick up a wire and before I could yell for him to stop, he cut me right off the wheel!
Then my Master gently carried me over to a large round box with a window in it and sat me down, I was so relieved that when he closed the door I decided to take a bit of a nap. It seemed like I just got comfortable and was almost asleep that I realized this box was so hot! I wondered why he would put me in here and began to pound on the door yelling as loud as I could "Let me out of here!" I saw him standing near the door shaking his head as I faintly heard him say "Not Yet."
Finally, the door was opened, and when he took me out he carried me over to a shelf and sat me down on a shelf. Every once in a while he came back over and picked me up, after checking me out all over he sat me back down and walked away again. Then just as I was getting comfortable again. he came back over and carried me to a table and began to put paint all over me, the fumes were horrible and I thought I would gag, " Stop it I can't breathe" but he only shook his head and said "Not yet."
After checking me all over he put me back into another hot box, he called an oven, only this one was twice as hot! I thought I was going to suffocate. I began to beg and plead with him from inside the oven, crying out from inside the oven, "Please let me out of here." I could see him looking in at me smiling and shaking his head, "Nor yet" he said.
Then I knew there was no help, I wasn't going to make it, just when I was ready to give up the door opened, and he took me out and placed me on another shelf. I sat there trying to understand all that I had been through when my Master handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself and see what you have become." And when I did I couldn't believe it was me! I stared at the teacup looking back at me, "This can't be me, I was just an ugly clump of red clay, and this teacup is beautiful."
Then in the gentlest voice, I ever heard my Master began to tell me, "I know it hurt to be rolled and patted, but if I would have left you the way you were you would have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel and kept you wet, but if I would have stopped you would have crumbled. I knew you were uncomfortable in the oven, and it was hot, but if I hadn't put you in there you would have cracked. I knew the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you, but you see if I hadn't done that you wouldn't have hardened and there would not have been any color in your life. And if I hadn't put you back into the oven a second time you would not have survived for very long because the hardness was not completed and your beauty would not shine through. Now you are finished, just the way I saw you when I created you."
Our lives are a lot like this teacup. When you think about it we can find ourselves in all stages of preparation, but like this teacup when God is finished with us we will be beautiful in His sight, inside and out,
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