Greyson pounded the clay in frustration, turning it back into a shapeless mass. Every day this week he had tried to make a pot—had tried and failed.
Now it was the last day before the end of the grading period. Why couldn’t he get the pot to take shape? His hands seemed all thumbs.
All quarter he’d been busy painting the beautiful ceramics his teacher had turned out from the molds. He was proud of that work and had given several of them as gifts already.
But to create something with his own hands . . . why couldn’t he do it?
He started again. Slowly, carefully, and as evenly as he could, he rolled out some coils that would form the sides of his pot. The bottom was smooth. It looked good. Gradually he began attaching the first coil, pressing it gently to the base and working it on up the sides.
“How are you doing, Greyson?” the teacher’s voice broke into his absorption. “It’s almost time to start cleaning up.” Greyson glanced at the clock in amazement. How had it happened? It was almost time for the bell, and he still didn’t have his project completed. “Oh, no,” he groaned. He was so discouraged, for he really had worked hard. Now his grade would drop, and he was hoping for an “A.”
Noting his look of despair, the teacher came over to his work area. Encouraging and helping, he showed Greyson where to pinch, to pull, to smooth. Then it was finished. The symmetry of it amazed him. It seemed so effortless with the teacher’s help!
Together they put the pot on the counter to dry. As Greyson thanked the teacher for his help and cleaned up, he thought of how easily the pot had been completed. Why, just a short time ago he had been in utter despair, with no hope of getting it finished.
He missed his ride on the school bus, but he didn’t mind, he was so happy and relieved. As he started walking home, he marveled again at the change in his emotions: Fifteen minutes ago he’d been totally downhearted, and now he felt as free as a bird.
Why, that is just like what Jesus does for the person who is discouraged! Just one touch from His hand, and the scene is totally changed, Greyson thought. When we are in trouble and despair, then God reaches down to help.
He thought of the Scriptures he’d been studying this week for his Sunday school lesson. Certainly the woman he’d been reading about had been full of despair and discouragement. She had been sick for twelve long years. That was almost his whole lifetime! What if he’d been sick since the day he was born? He couldn’t imagine it! She had gone to all the doctors around her town. She had spent all her money to see if they could make her well. Had she gotten better? No. Not at all. She had gotten worse!
Talk about discouragement! She knew what that felt like! But she hadn’t let it keep her from doing something. She got up and followed after Jesus. She had pushed and shoved and squeezed her way through the crowd.
If only she could get close enough to just touch His clothes, she had thought, then she would be well. Her energy was almost gone. The crowd jostled her. She reached out her hand, but Jesus had moved on. She tried again, but someone moved right in front of her. Afraid that she’d never reach Him, she pushed forward with great determination, and she touched the hem of His garment! That very moment, she knew she was made perfectly whole!
Greyson’s dad had a big word for that kind of “stick-to-it-iveness.” It was perseverance. That's what this woman had shown in coming to Jesus. Despite her aches and pains and despair, she had persisted until she received what she’d come for.
Greyson guessed that his dad would be proud of him. He had persevered also; he’d kept working on that pot until the teacher had seen his diligence and determination and had reached out a helping hand to him this afternoon.
Greyson decided that next Sunday, he would tell his Sunday school teacher what he’d learned about perseverance this week: we will receive what we need from God when we persevere in seeking Him.