Stronger Through The Struggle

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.
The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat. 
One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. Worried, the boy called for his mother. She came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. She explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly. 
The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started struggling to come out.
At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it could not break free! It appeared like it was not making progress!
The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back. He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.
  But neither happened !
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. 
It never was able to fly…
As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. The struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly.

You may have heard this story before. I didn’t write it, but I often think of the struggles not only the little boy realized, but with the butterfly. Each struggle was unique and different. 

Trials and Temptations

As you go through life, keep in mind struggling is an important part of growth. It is the struggle that develops our ability to fly. 

…because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:3 NIV)

Peace and Hope

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

When facing the trials of life, never expect from man that which only God can deliver. 

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in princes.

(Psalm 118:8-9 NIV)

His provision is abundant. His grace is sufficient. He will carry you through the raging fires and turbulent seas. His love is eternal. Trust Him and see. He is King Jesus and He is waiting. 

I pray you see the message through the mess, the testimony through the test, and the triumph through the trial. 

Grace always, Missy

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