We all struggle…even butterflies. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
A little boy brought home a caterpillar he finds while playing outside. Fascinated, he asked to keep it. He and his mother placed it in a jar with sticks and grass. The little boy constantly watched the caterpillar eat and move.
Soon the caterpillar began the process of building it’s cocoon which fascinated the little boy even more. Every day after school the boy rushed home to see what had happened with the cocoon. One day he was rewarded with the sight of the cocoon moving.
The caterpillar, now a butterfly, had opened a small hole, and the butterfly was struggling to get out. The boy, unable to contain himself, rushed to find a pair of scissors. He returned to cut open a larger hole, and the butterfly quickly emerged.
He butterfly escaped the cocoon, but to the boy’s disappointment. The body was enlarged, and the wings were stunted. The butterfly couldn’t fly, and it was destined to a life of crawling around on the ground.
Without the struggle, the butterfly never developed into the beautiful creature it was designed to be.
Yes, this is a metaphor.
Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.
For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it. -Philippians 1:28-30
Paul warns the Philippian church of enemies, suffering and struggle. He asks them to enter into this process together in order to overcome their enemies.
This struggle has an even greater purpose, though. The pain of struggle helps us become the men and women God has created us to be. I’m not sure why, but God has designed us imperfect and works in process. He also made us so imperfections are only worked out through a forging fire – hot and painful.
Stop and think about this, you know it’s true. You’ve seen it in friends, family and maybe even yourself. Without pain and struggle we are stunted and deformed spiritually, emotionally – even mentally.
Though we don’t like it, embrace the struggle. Push through it, like the butterfly through it’s cocoon. Paul encourages it, and so do I.
Here’s the best part, when you have pushed through and come out on the other side, you’ll be amazed at where you go!