“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” ~ Richard Bach
There is something that we often fail to miss: we will not be the same person at the end of our lives. We are becoming. If we focus too much upon who we are right now, we will miss that wonderful mystery. Instead of allowing the tides of time to change us, we will do all that we can to remain the same. We are not called to sameness, though. We are called to change. Ultimately, we are called to change into glory.
The caterpillar may not know that. All the caterpillar knows is that it is driven to form a cocoon. After it forms that shell, it seemingly leaves the earth. But what takes place inside that cocoon is a marvel of creation. The caterpillar transforms and, when it comes out of the cocoon, it is no longer a caterpillar but a butterfly.
Even the very end of the time in the cocoon and the beginning of the butterfly’s time is fragile and demanding. Just as its nature forced it to make a cocoon so, too, it is forced to pry its way out of the cocoon. This is an extremely difficult, yet incredibly important, task. I learned about that first hand.
When I was young, I saw a butterfly trying to emerge from a cocoon. I thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world. I was impatient and, I believe, I felt sorry for the struggling butterfly. So, I ran into the house and got a little knife. I ran back outside and made the slit in the cocoon larger so that the butterfly could flop out. That is exactly what it did: flopped.
However, because I took away the tension of the cocoon, the butterfly’s wings did not have the resistance they needed to unfurl properly. The butterfly flopped around a while and died. It could not take to flight.
In our lives, we often do everything possible to lessen the resistance of life. We do not like challenge. We want everything to come easily. However, it is only in that resistance, in that struggle, that we are formed. Our character is formed in a crucible of fire, if you will. We need challenge in our lives if we are to be transformed into the people God calls us to be.
The next time you find yourself struggling and feeling sorry for yourself in the struggle, remember the butterfly. It struggles valiantly to get out of that cocoon. But, when it does, it takes to the air like a champion.
FAITH ACTION: Ask God to give you the patience that you need while He transform you into who you are called to be.