Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Story of the Teacup

A few years ago, a friend invited me to a High Tea at Community Chapel in Mauldin, SC. I didn't know what to expect since I'd never heard of one,
but I thought it could be fun. I enjoyed meeting new people and singing praise songs while tasting a variety of teas. There were scones, sandwiches, fruit, and other treats as well. The best part, though, was the testimony of one of the ladies there.
She’s undergoing treatment for cancer and talked about her spiritual life during this time. She shared a story by Georgy that lifts her spirits and sustains her.

The Teacup

A couple went to England for their anniversary. They liked antiques and pottery, especially teacups. One day, in a beautiful shop, they spotted an exceptional cup and asked to see it. ”We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.” As the lady handed it to them, the teacup shocked them by speaking and telling this story…

I have not always been a teacup.  Once I was just a lump of red clay. My master rolled, pounded and patted me over and over. I yelled, “Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Let me alone.”
But he only smiled and gently said, “Not yet.”
Then WHAM! He placed me on a spinning wheel and spun me round and round. “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, poked, prodded, and bent me out of shape, then put me in the oven! I’d 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 could read his lips as he shook his head, “Not yet.”
When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully put me on the shelf. I began to cool. Oh it felt so good! This is much better, I thought. Then he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. “Oh, please stop!” I gagged.
My master only shook his head and said, “Not yet!”
Suddenly he put me into a much hotter oven where I knew I would suffocate. I begged, pleaded, and cried, convinced that I would never make it. I was ready to give up when the door opened. He took me out and placed me on the shelf. I cooled, wondering, “What’s next?”
An hour later, my master gave me a mirror. “Look at yourself.”
"That's not me," I said. "It's beautiful...I'm beautiful."
Quietly he spoke, “I know it hurt to be rolled, and pounded and patted, but if left alone, you would 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 was painful in the oven, but without the heat, you would have cracked. I know the paint fumes were awful, but without paint, there would be no color in your life. Without that second firing, you would not have the strength to survive. Now you are a finished product. Now you are just what I had in mind.”
God knows what He’s doing. He is the Potter and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, exposing us to just enough of the right pressures that we might become a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
So when life seems hard, and you feel pounded and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you’re in a fiery furnace of trials and life stinks, try this…Brew your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup. Sit down, and remember this story and have a little talk with the Potter. (Isaiah 64:8)

Are you facing something  that seems overwhelming? A load that's too heavy to carry? God is there in the midst of it. He knows what He's doing and that the end product will be worth it, even if we can't see it in the process.  

1 comment:

Cathy Baker said...

What a beautiful story/testimony! Thank you for sharing, Ellen. Praying 2017 is one of your best in every way! Hope to see you Thursday.