“NOT YET” Part 2

“But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jeremiah 18:4).

 

Continued from yesterday . . .

 

An 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!!!’

Quietly he spoke: ‘I want you to remember,’ then, he said, ‘I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just 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 know it hurt and it 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. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’

The moral of this story is this: God knows what He’s doing for each of us. He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to ‘stink’, try this:

Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

 

We see in the second paragraph above, the Potter has reasons for every difficulty He puts us through because He has a purpose for us in all that He does.  He sees the final product and knows that what He has in mind for us is more than we can imagine.  We may scream, “Stop it! Let me out!” but His wisdom and understanding sees “something beautiful” in us.  Paul asks, “Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did?” (Romans 9:20 CEV).  Let’s be patient. God is not finished with us yet!

Even though we do not realize now what He is doing, later we’ll understand (John 13:7). 

Like the “tea cup,” we may not like it, but when we cooperate with the Potter and endure the process rather than resist Him, we change on the inside.  And our beautiful cup overflows!

Something beautiful, something good;

All my confusion He understood;

All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,

But He made something beautiful of my life. –Gloria Gaither

“NOT YET” Part 1

“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand” (Jeremiah 18:6).

 

I’ve had this story (author unknown), entitled “The Potter,” in my files for several years. (The title on a couple blogs is “The Tea Cup.”)  Please read this rather amusing story:

 

There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked “May we see that? We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, ‘You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Don’t do that.’ ‘I don’t like it!’ ‘Let me alone,’ but he only smiled, and gently said; ‘Not yet!’

Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘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 me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. I 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 I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, ‘Not yet’.

When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! ‘Ah, this is much better,’ I thought. But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Oh, please, stop it, Stop,’ I cried. He only shook his head and said. ‘Not yet!’

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering ‘What’s he going to do to me next?’ (continued tomorrow)

 

Have you ever felt like that teacup?  Is God pounding and bending and spinning you to what you feel is the breaking point and placing you in a hot oven till you are ready to scream, “Stop it!”?  We’ve all been there or will be there at some point.

Our trials are not meant to break us but to bend us toward God.  Whatever He sends or allows is an invitation to draw closer to Him.

He knows just what it takes,

And never will He forsake;

Though He has to say, “Not yet!”

Trust Him for His very best. –Ruby Morris