I received this email from Leon and Mariel Betts several weeks ago. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did:
There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores.
They both liked antiques and pottery and especially teacups. This was their
twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.
One day in this beautiful shop they saw a beautiful teacup.
The 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 and he shook his head,
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 terrible.
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 I couldn't believe it was me. 'It's 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
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 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 and 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.
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.