There was this couple who used to go to England to shop in thebeautiful stores. This was their 25th Wedding Anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially teacups.

One day in a beautiful fine shop, they saw this beautiful teacup. One said, "May I see that? I never have seen one quite so beautiful," and the lady handed it to him. As she handed it to him, 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 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'd never felt such heat! I wondered why he wanted to burn me. I yelled! I 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. Then he brushed me 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, and 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 hurt to be rolled and patted, but if I just left you, 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 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.'" That's life, friends. That's my life and it is your life. Some of you are in the oven, screaming, hollering, "Let me out of here!" Some of you are getting painted and the fumes are bothering you and driving you crazy. Some of you are spinning around and you don't know where you are. You're saying "What's going on? It's a mess here," and the Master keeps looking and saying, "Not yet, not yet." You see, you've got to trust HIM.