A story: One day a man walking down a path saw a butterfly cocoon that was about to open. As he watched, a small opening appeared in the cocoon. For several hours the butterfly struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared to have gone as far as it could go.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily, but it had a withered body. It was tiny and its wings were shriveled.
The man continued to watch because he expected that at any moment the wings would open, enlarge, and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body. That didn’t happen. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It never was able to take flight.
What the man in his kindness and good intentions did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If allowed to go through life without any obstacles, we would not be as strong as we might otherwise have been. Essentially, without struggles or obstacles we might never be able to achieve what God created us to accomplish.
One writer’s applications of this story to life:
- I asked for strength and was given difficulties to make me strong.
- I asked for prosperity and was given a brain and brawn to work.
- I asked for courage and was given obstacles to overcome.
- I asked for love and was given troubled people to help.
- I asked for wisdom and was given problems to solve.
- I asked for favors and was given opportunities.
- I received nothing I wanted but everything I needed.
The moral of this story: Live life without fear and confront obstacles that arise, knowing and trusting that by God’s grace and with his power, nothing is impossible! (Luke 1:37)