Posted 10/31/2014 7:12 PM (GMT -6)
JohnRed u r not alone. I hope you do not mind me sending these words of encouragement.
I need to read this again today!
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Begin forwarded message:
I couldn't believe how appropriate this story is:
The Teacup Story
A young couple was shopping for antiques one day in an exclusive antique store and took notice to one of the most exquisite tea cups they had ever seen. They asked to see the cup and as they stood there admiring it, they were shocked to hear the cup begin to speak!
You know what? I didn’t always look like this, said the beautiful teacup. There was a time when I was raw ugly clay. But one day this Potter came along and he began to pat me, form me and mold me. I said to the potter, “What are trying to do? That hurts! Ouch, stop it, I’m uncomfortable! Leave me alone!” But the potter smiled and said, “Not yet.”
He then put me on the potter’s wheel, said the tea cup. And he spun me around and around and I began to get dizzy. I didn’t like it, and yelled, "Stop, no more I am dizzy!" He said, "Not yet". But it was then I began to take on a different shape.
I thought he was through with me, but all of a sudden he put me into a hot oven. It was so hot in there, I could not stand it. I thought I was going to die! And when he came to check on me, I could see him through the glass in the oven door and he had a sparkle in his eye. I screamed out to him, “Please let me out of here, it is much too hot!” He just smiled and said, “Not yet.”
Finally after a long time, he took me out and put me on the shelf to cool, "I said, phew that is much better!" I thought, thank you God it is finally over! Now I can get back to being my normal self. But my relief didn't last long because then the potter came back over and began to paint me with this sticky, smelly paint. I didn’t like it. It smelled terrible! I thought I was going to choke. And I told him, “Leave me alone!” But again, he just said, “Not yet.”
Then he put me a second time into the oven, it was twice as hot as the first! And I realized there was no hope, I would never make it, I was about to give up. When he came to check on me, I said, "I can’t take this anymore!” But once again he just smiled and said, “Not yet.”
Finally the door opened and he took me out and set me gently on the shelf. After some time had passed, He came by and handed me a mirror and said, "Now look at yourself!" As I peered into that mirror, I could not believe, that could not be me! Look how beautiful I had become!! I could not believe how much I had changed. I did not look like anything like that the hard lump of clay that I started out to be!
"I want you to understand", said the Potter, "that I know how much it hurts to be molded and shaped, but if I had stopped you would have dried up and turned into an ugly lump of clay. I know that it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but had I stopped, you would have crumpled. I know that it hurt and that is was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you in there, you would have no strength. I know that the fumes were terrible when I brushed and painted you, but if I hadn't done that you would have never reached your potential, nor would you have developed your own beautiful character. And if I hadn't put you back in the oven the second time, you would have eventually leaked and your color would have faded away. But now you are a beautiful teacup fit for use at the most beautiful table. You are now what I had in mind when I first formed you".
Beloved, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:12-13
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