Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Necessary Growing Pains

Growing (up) isn’t always a pain-free process. It can be so painful that you just want to curl up into a ball and quit sometimes. But then I think of the following story:


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:

The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes when I think, “God, why can’t You just step in and help me out here?!” I think that God wants me to remember that the pain of today is just the experience that I’ll need to fight tomorrow’s battles. Naiveté hasn’t helped me much thus far, so why would I want to continue on that way?

A big part of growing up has been learning this lesson (something that I continue to do each day.) As time goes on though, and yesterday’s tests become today’s testimonies, I realize that it hasn’t all been in vain, God hasn’t ever left me out to dry, and I have more strength than I ever imagined, to push forward each and every day. And that’s DEFINITELY something to praise God for!

Thank you Lord for each new day that You present me with. Thank you for trusting me with that which I see as challenges, but that You know are just growing pains. Thank you for watching over me and being ready to step in if I really need, but trusting in my ability to figure it out.

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