The Butterfly

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The man had loved butterflies since he was a small boy.  Now a grown man, he found himself once again fascinated with a cocoon.  He had found it at the side of the park path.  Somehow the twig had been knocked from the tree and the cocoon had survived undamaged and still woven to the branch.

As he had seen his mother do, he gently protected the cocoon and carried it home.  The cocoon found a temporary home in a wide-top mason jar with holes in the lid.  the jar was placed on the mantle for easy viewing and protection from their curious cat.

The man watched.  Almost imperceptibly at first, the cocoon moved.  A small opening appeared, and he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.  Then it seemed to stop making any progress.  It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further.  Then the man decided to help the butterfly.

He removed the lid on the jar, took a sharp pen knife from his desk drawer, and carefully made a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon.  Almost immediately, one wing appeared and then out stretched the other.   The butterfly was free!

It seemed to enjoy its freedom and walked along the edge of the mason jar and along the edge of the mantle.  But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.  The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

  Neither happened!  In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and   shriveled wings.It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’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 its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.  If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us.  We would not be as strong as what we could have been.

And we could never fly…