Jun 22, 2007

I found this cute story online. I hope you are blessed by it, as I was.
"Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So, there is no use arguing with God about your destiny." Ecc. 6:10
"You have tested us Oh God, and purified us like silver melted in a crucible." Psalms 66:10
" Our lives are in His hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling." Psalms 66: 9

In order for us to feel that our prayers have been answered, we expect to get a "Yes, here it is, exactly what you prayed for." We are not prepared for a "Not Yet." I can't tell you how many times in my life I have prayed for an immediate resolution to a problem I was having, and it wasn't until years later that I realized getting a "Not Yet' made me a better person and gave me a richer and more rewarding life. We usually don't see the bigger picture at the time. Garth Brooks has a magnificent song called, "Unanswered Prayers." In it, he describes how he ran into his high school flame at a hometown football game. He began thinking of his past and how he prayed each night that God would make her love him. If he was granted this only wish, he would never ask for anything again. But then he tried to talk to her about the good old days and realized that she wasn't what he remembered and they had little in common. That's when he turned to his wife and realized how blessed he was. That's when he sings the chorus of the song,

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talking to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

I've heard from thousands of men and women who have been through heartache and disappointment and then years later when they finally meet someone new, they are so glad that they didn't stay with the one who broke their heart. They finally realized it was never meant to be.

You may be praying for something this very moment and all you keep getting is a "Not Yet!" Here is a wonderful story that was sent to me when I had my 3rd major bout with breast cancer. I tried to find out who the author was but he or she is Unknown.

The Story of the Tea Cup

There was a couple who went to England to shop in a beautiful antique store. They both liked antiques and pottery, and especially tea cups. On a trip to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, they found an exceptional cup. They asked "May we see that cup? We've never seen a tea cup quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea cup spoke, "You don't understand." the cup said, "I have not always been a tea cup. 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 the potter 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...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 it!!" I cried. He only shook his head and said. "Not yet!"

Then suddenly he put me back in to 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 he is going to do to me next? 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 this," he said, "I know it hurt to be rolled and patted, but had I 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 in 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. (The End)

A long time ago my husband and I met the loveliest couple on a Saturday night. They came along with 2 other couples we know, to dinner. We started talking about what surprised us most about life. This man said, "I am surprised at the life I have now as compared to the life I started with. I remember one night getting into bed, crying over the divorce I didn't want and the job I was about to lose." God spoke to me and said, "Just let go." There is a better life waiting." He said he felt a peace wash over him and he did let go. Karla, who is his second wife now and a new job which affords him an affluent life-style he never dreamed he'd have, came about when he just let go. He and his second wife are so in love. He has 2 grown sons from his first marriage.

Pain forces us to grow as human beings. Pain is our greatest teacher. Regardless of where the pain comes from, there are always lessons to be learned. Physical pain alerts you to a problem in your body that needs attention. Emotional pain does the same thing. It tells you that there is a lesson that you need to learn so you can grow stronger. God knows what he is doing. He is the potter and we are his clay. It is through our pain that he will mold us so that eventually, we can become a flawless piece of work. My wish for all of you this year, is to embrace all the "Not Yets" in your life as I will do in mine. We are all a wonderful work in progress.

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