Funny thing about butterflies. They emerge from their cocoons with wings, and when they went in, they didn’t have any. When they are finally developed and ready to find their way out of their cocoons, they have to struggle and struggle and struggle some more to get their much larger winged bodies out of that now too small protective casing. To watch one try to get out, you wonder if it will actually make it. But, eventually it does,
and the butterfly spreads its huge wings, and flutters into the air, able to experience the world radically different than it did as a caterpillar. Scientists have learned that the struggle and difficulty a butterfly endures to escape the cocoon is what actually grows their muscles strong enough to flap the wings! So what looked like misery and hardship was necessary if the butterfly was to fly.
Hardships are no fun. No fun at all. And they will come. As I face my hardships I’m learning to ask, “God, why are You allowing this? You are Lord of Creation, and King of the Universe, so I know You could have spared me of this trial, but You chose not to.” That takes me on a totally different journey, than if I had chosen to get mad at God or curse Him for my troubles. It helps me relax a bit more, though the hardship is still there. It drives me to be more connected to God, rather than turn my back on Him or flip Him the bird because things aren’t going my way. I’ve even come to see hardships as an opportunity to learn more humility and patience, trusting that God is preparing me to live in a different and better way than before.
I’ll be honest- I want more humility and patience, but I don’t want to struggle out of the cocoon. I”d rather God would just unzip that cocoon for me, and let me fly. I have to remember the butterfly often, knowing that if I or someone else wanted to “help” the butterfly escape out of its cocoon, it would drop like a rock and die. It would flounder helplessly on the ground until it became some other creature’s tasty dinner. So whatever hardship you’re in now (or will be in soon), remember the butterfly. God will take any hardship, self inflicted or other inflicted in this broken world, and use it for good. If He doesn’t remove it, He will rework it- for your good, if you allow Him.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.