Spinning Wheels and Fiery Furnances

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I know that this story flies in the face of my theodicy and why people suffer, but it helps on a rough day, especially for a potter like me. God doesn’t cause the crud in our lives but God does use it for good, if I will wait and see. Here’s the story:

There was a couple who used to frequent crafts shops. They both loved pottery, and especially vases. They saw one in a shop that immediately caught their fancy. They asked the shopkeeper if they could pick it up and look it over more closely. As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the vase spoke, “You don’t understand.”

It said, “I have not always been a vase. There was a time when I was just a lump of white 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 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 yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the peep hole, 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. And he brushed 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 one was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate. I begged, I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. 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.

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.’

“I want you to remember, then’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and kneaded and patted, but if I just had 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 collapsed. I know it hurts and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have crumbled. I know the fumes were bad when I poured the glaze over you, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened and been made strong. You would not have had any color in your life, and if I hadn’t put you back in the oven for a second time, you wouldn’t survive for 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 is the potter and I’m the clay. If I believe that the the spinning wheel and fiery kiln will be worth it when it’s all said and done. Lord, Give me patience!
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