I have always loved butterflies. They are so beautiful, with their thin papery wings, their vibrant colors, and the way they dance from flower to flower. I've always found the caterpillar-to-butterfly transformation incredible as well. A true miracle of nature, one of God's great mysteries. Yesterday, I learned something new about the butterfly, about it's transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. As we watch the chrysalis split and the butterfly start to emerge, it can be tempting to help it, to pull the chrysalis apart and allow the butterfly to emerge more quickly. However, we should never do this. By struggling to open the chrysalis, the butterfly is given the opportunity to strengthen its new wings. It builds up the strength it will eventually need to fly away, to live its life to the fullest. If we were to rush the process, we would rob the butterfly of what it needed to prepare for the times ahead.
The challenges we face in our lives and in our faith are the same. We want to rush through them, to end them quickly, to tear them off like a Band-Aid. We want the pain to be quick so that it will also be over. But we do the most growing when we are struggling. We do the most depending on God when there is no where else to turn. It's hard not to give up, to keep going, but building up strength is necessary. We need it for the future and so that we can be ready for what God has in store.
These last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life. I was utterly drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For a couple of weeks I was practically a zombie, just moving through my day, going through the motions, waiting for tomorrow and hoping it would be better. Finally I came out on the other side of all of that, and I experienced peace. All the struggle, the angst, the stress is gone, and I am finally at peace. I am happy. I am joyous. It's been a long time since I have been all of those things at one time, and I am so thankful to be there now.
What are you working through right now? Are you accepting the process?
John 16: 33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.