I just finished a long e-mail to a dear friend of mine. In responding to a problem he was having I quoted the Butterfly story. Perhaps many of you have heard this, but I hope it will provide some comfort today.
A woman loved to watch nature out her kitchen window while she washed dishes. The sun peeked through the trees in the early morning and gave a soft amber glow in the evening. She watched squirrels play on her porch and and kept her bird feeder clean and full of food. She was thrilled when a cocoon appeared in the upper part of the window sill. Every morning and evening she watched in expectation hoping today would be the day she would witness a miracle.
She was excited one morning to see movement. All day she returned to the window to see if the butterfly was making progress. Movement continued but very little progress was made. The butterfly worked extremely hard but the cocoon seemed to be extra hard to penetrate. The next day she saw two legs and part of the head sticking out of the bottom of the cocoon. She watched the butterfly work and withdraw, work and withdraw trying to get free.
After eight long hours and very little progress she decided to help. She took scissors and carefully cut the strings on the cocoon to make a larger hole so the butterfly could get out. It took her breath away when a beautiful black and gold butterfly emerged. She felt pleased that she could help. The butterfly flopped his wings and dropped on to a nearby chair. He sat there for a few minutes moving his wings and then tried to fly. He hit the ground hard and after a little flopping died.
The woman was horrified. She called the local zoo and asked why? The person on the other end sighed and patiently explained. There is a liquid in the butterfly's head that must be squeezed onto their wings. Without this liquid coating the wings, the butterfly can't sustain flight and he will quickly die. The hard work and tedious strain was all part of the birth process. Each time the head poked out and returned in the liquid was being squeezed and forced into the rest of the body preparing to smooth onto the wings. When she cut the cocoon, she also destroyed the butterfly's ability to fly.
Moral.....sometimes our pain is what gives us the ability to fly.
When we cut that short, we change the direction of our lives. No one should go out and beg for pain -- that will put you in the loony bin. But sometimes I think we need to be more concerned about "what" we are learning from life than how "happy" or comfortable we are.
Perhaps we need to cling to the 23rd Psalm a little more and the comforts of life a little less.
God loves you,