So you rolled the dice and you lost. “But I thought the stock prices would continue going up but I guess I was wrong…”
So you failed to meet your sales quota for the third time in a row and your boss is now breathing down your neck…
So you look around your office for the last time and you realize that the latest financial loss you took is just too heavy for you and you’re not quite that young anymore…
What happens when things like these happen to you?
What if the doctor says, “It’s positive.” This is the only “positive” news that is not positively accepted at all.
What if the voice on the other end of the phone says, “She didn’t make it…”
Try to remember the tea cup. Some brilliant writer told this story whose name I missed. But remember this story.
There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery and specially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup. They said, “May we see that? We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.” As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. “You don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup.
There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘let me alone’, but he only smiled, ‘Not yet’.
Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. “Stop it! I’m getting dizzy!” I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet’.
Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why He wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head ‘Not yet’.
Finally the door opened, he put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried.
He only nodded, ‘Not yet’.
Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet’.
Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One 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.’ ‘I want you to remember, then,’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had 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 knew it hurt and 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. And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’
Pains, trials, difficulties in life. A combination of triumphs and tragedies. That’s what life is all about and sometimes the blows keep coming.
Guess what’s happening? The Master is putting us – His clay into the oven in order to break us, mold us and form us into His image. God knows what He’s doing (for all of us). He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
Think about it. Our every area of strength comes from our past “oven-experience.” This is why we’re strong today and that strength, is used to help others and bring glory to His name.
The visually impaired Helen Keller says “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.” Warren Wiersbe noted that when God permits his children to go through the furnace, he keeps his eye on the clock and his hand on the thermostat.
He’s not done with you yet. You’re still a work in progress.