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“I want you to know that I haven’t always looked like this.

You see, there was a time when I was just clay. The Master came and He pounded me, and He pounded me so long and so hard. I said, “Let me alone; LET ME ALONE!” And He looked at me and He smiled and said, “Not yet.”

Then the pounding was finished. He took me and put me on the wheel. And the wheel went round and round and round. I was getting dizzy. I cried, “Let me off this wheel! LET ME OFF!” And the Master just smiled and said, “Not yet.”

He came and He picked me up. He took me toward an oven. He shut the door and turned the heat up high. I thought to myself, “I’m going to burn to death in here.” I started pounding on the walls of the oven. I kept shouting, “Let me out. Let me out. LET ME OUT!” Through the window I could see the Master’s face, and He was looking with great compassion in His eyes. He said, “Not yet.”

Finally, the door opened and…Whew! It felt so good to be taken out of the oven. He took me and put me on the shelf. I watched Him get a brush and some paint. He started dabbing me and dabbing me and making little twirls here and there. The fumes were getting to me. I started to gag and I said, “Stop that! Stop that! STOP THAT!” And He just smiled with His love and said, “Not yet.”

Then He took me again and He started walking toward the oven. I said, “Oh, no! Please No! I’ve already been in that oven!” He put me in the oven and He said, “Shut the door.” He turned up the heat twice as hot. I said, “Let me out. LET ME OUT! I’m going to suffocate in here. I’M GOING TO SUFFOCATE IN HERE!” And I saw Him looking through the window and a tear was trickling down His cheek, but there was a smile on His face. He said, “Not yet.”

Finally, when I felt the very breath leaping out of me, the door opened and it was cool. The Master came and very gingerly He picked me up and put me on the shelf. He said, “There! Would you like to see yourself?” I said, “Yes!” He said, “Here, take a look in the mirror.” And I looked and I looked again. I said, “That’s not me. I’m just a lump of clay; I’m just a pot.”

He said, “Yes, that’s you; but you see the process of pain was necessary. You see, if I hadn’t pounded the clay, you would have dried up. If I hadn’t subjected you to the stress of the potter’s wheel, you would have crumbled. If I hadn’t put you in the oven, you would have cracked. If I hadn’t painted you, you wouldn’t have any color in your life. But it’s the last oven. The second experience there gave you the hardness to endure the troubles of life. Now I want you to know exactly what I had in mind all along. You are finished – changed!”

I turned to the Master and I said something I never thought I’d hear myself say. “Thank you for the ordeal of suffering. Thank you for the process of pain. Now I am ready for the challenge to serve you with my life of Glory.”

Author unknown

“I went to the potter’s house, and he was working there at his wheel. Whenever a clay pot he was working on was ruined, he would rework it into a new clay pot the way he wanted to make it.” -Jeremiah 18:3-4

Our youth face many trials, but each trial and decision builds character and strength for our youth to become the leaders God wants them to be, to fulfill the purposes for which he created them, and to face the difficulties in life that lie

MORE IDEAS? See “Creative Object Lessons”

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