This is from the same daily devotional as The Dragonfly one.
I love it!
The Tea Cup
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 and the shop they visited had a beautiful teacup. They said to the shop assistant, "May we see that? We've never seen one quite so beautiful." As the lady handed it over to them, the teacup spoke suddenly.
"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, rolled me, 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. '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 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. 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 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'm 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 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.
Moral: God knows what He's doing for all of us. He is the
potter and we are His clay. He will mold us so that we may be
made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good,
pleasing, and perfect will.
Let this story remind you that God has a perfect plan for your life. He may need to place some obstacles in your life to strengthen your character, so that you may be strong in the days of greater adversity. Don't get discouraged when you feel like
the heat of the struggle is going to burn you. God knows exactly when to pull you out and deliver you from that problem and when He does you will be much wiser and stronger than you were before.
God knows your inner strength and ability to be strong even in the midst of a problem.