When Master Potter fashioned me from crude clay, He decided to make me a vessel, a cup. At His discretion, He formed my cup with a large capacity.
"I will fill it," He promised.
In my youth, great thirst began to consume me. It seemed that unlimited years stretched before me. Every fountain of life sparkled and beckoned to me offering a fullness to which I might hold my cup and let its water bubble to fill me. I sang often, “Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord; come and fill this thirsting of my soul...fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!”
"Just wait for My time," Master Potter cautioned. "I promised to choose the right fountain to fill your cup."
I impatiently agreed to wait. In due season, none too soon, I complained, Master Potter led me to a certain fountain of His choice. I stretched forth my empty cup with trembling joy and anticipation. Eagerness for the promised fulfillment nearly overwhelmed me.
Well, it was a good fountain. Adequate, I suppose. Yet I still felt unfulfilled, puzzled, and somehow wistful and sad.
Time went by. A lot of time.
I came to realize with excruciating dismay that this fountain would always give me less than my capacity. My cup would always be barely one-quarter full! I grew increasingly restless. What a disappointment! How could this meager provision be the Master Potter's best for me?
Or had my cup grown in capacity with maturity? Was my thirst perhaps greater?
Was this truly all that this fountain was capable of giving me? My cup could certainly hold three-quarters more!
I wanted my cup to be not merely a quarter full, or half full, but full to overflowing! Surely I wasn't being unreasonable. After all, Master Potter Himself had created me with this generous capacity. I became increasingly perplexed and disgruntled.
I began to question Master Potter's judgment. So I decided, "I shall take my cup back to Him. I shall demand a reason for His meager provision. I shall ask to change fountains!”
On my way There, I unexpectedly came upon another fountain. Oh, how ample it seemed! Master Potter had made this one too—it was labeled as His possession. How sparkling clear and abundantly it bubbled! It beckoned to me. I was drawn to it with the prospect of satisfaction. I knew instinctively that at this fountain I could experience all for which I longed, for which I was made. It would fill that other three-quarters that I desired so imperatively.
I shouted for joy! All by myself I had finally found the fountain I wanted!
Without considering whether the fountain belonged to anyone else, I yielded to temptation. Yes! I filled my cup to the brim and then it overflowed. Oh, how it slaked my thirst, more abundantly than I had ever dared to dream! I drank and drank and drank until I was drunk with abandon. I wasn't aware of anyone or anything else.
Suddenly a strong hand grasped my shoulder.
Master Potter stood beside me. He shook me lovingly, gently, but firmly until I came to myself.
I made as if to defy Him. "It was You who made me with this great capacity! Why did you give me a large cup and great thirst? Was it to taunt me by chaining me to a meager fountain that leaves me three-quarters empty? On my own I found a better fountain, another of Your fountains, which fills my cup. This one suits me a lot better. So I want this one!" I pouted, stamping my feet.
Master Potter waited until my bitterness was spent. Then He quietly and simply replied, "My child, in My love for you I deliberately permit some emptiness and I provide what you consider partial fulfillment so that I may fill your cup with Myself. Only in Me is there fullness and abundance. Only in Me is there satisfaction and the slaking of all thirsts. Indeed, I have promised that your cup will be full but not through waters from the fountains of temporal things or human relationships. They will always prove inadequate and disappointing no matter how satisfying they may seem to you at the moment."
I pondered His words. "But—this fountain—” I argued, "it fills me more than the one You provided! I like this one! I want it! I want it now! You have given me the wrong fountain!"
He was lovingly patient. "For the present, in My shaping and transforming you into My image, I have ordained that you should drink from the fountain I have chosen for you, the one that satisfies you only one-quarter full. I have a purpose and a plan for your good and not for evil. Trust Me to know what is best for you. Be content first to have the least—the quarter-cup. I will reward your obedience, your faithfulness. Have not I promised, 'all these things shall be added unto you,' and 'no good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly'? First seek Me, the One who has made you, and not satisfaction from the things which I have made."
I fell at His feet sobbing, pleading, "But I can't keep on living with my cup three-quarters empty!"
Master Potter said, "You are right. You cannot do it yourself. But you can, through My enabling."
"Teach me! Teach me how to do it then!" I cried in desperation.
"I shall," He promised. "Day by day, moment by moment, trust and obey Me, delight yourself in Me, and I shall surely give you the desires of your heart."
I clung to His feet in anguish. I had more questions to ask Him. How was He going to work things out? And when? How soon? I wanted to lift the curtain on the next scene to see what my future would hold. I was impatient to know how He would fulfill His promise.
Otherwise, how could I write the conclusion to this parable?
But He didn't tell me.
O Lord! I must wait—not with reluctance or rebellion or impatience, but in joyful submission and trust.
So this parable must remain unfinished—for now—perhaps for a mortal lifetime—until all things shall one day be revealed in Eternity in the Glorious Presence of God. Then we shall know as we are known. On that day the Master Potter will finish shaping the clay that is me into the image of His perfect intention. Fullness shall be realized. There will be no empty cups nor cups one-quarter full. All cups will be overflowing!
Our God will be all and in all and satisfying all as we are satisfied in Him.
From THE RESOURCE BOOK
Isaiah 55:8,9; 30:18,21; Psalm 106:13-15; 37:4; 84:11;107:35)