One day a boy found a multicolored caterpillar. Its colors, wiggly body, and numerous legs fascinated him. He gently picked it up and took it home. At home the boy placed it in a box. He added a stick for it to climb and brought leaves for the caterpillar to eat. Every day he studied the caterpillar and built a strong bond with it.
Eventually the caterpillar began to build a cocoon. The boy was excited, knowing the caterpillar would soon turn into a butterfly. He checked on his pet several times a day but became concerned the caterpillar was taking too long to emerge from its cocoon.
Finally, about a week into the process, something happened. A small hole appeared in the cocoon, and the boy expected the butterfly to quickly surface. But as he watched, his pet seemed to struggle to break free from the shell. The boy was disappointed there was very little progress.
Hours passed. The butterfly was working its hardest, but it just could not break out. Heartbroken at the sight of this struggle, the boy decided to help.
With a pair of scissors the boy cut a small opening in the cocoon to make it easier for the butterfly to emerge. Almost immediately the butterfly exited without any more struggling. But when it appeared, the boy was surprised. Instead of being the beautiful butterfly he anticipated it would be, it was grotesque. It had a swollen body and short, shriveled wings.
He watched the butterfly over the next few days, hoping the wings would dry out, enlarge, and expand. But that never happened. The butterfly crawled around with its withered wings and huge body for the rest of its life. It never flew and soon died.
The boy was heartbroken and told his mom about the dead, misshapen butterfly. His mother took him to a science teacher to find out what happened.
The teacher taught the boy a very important life lesson. He explained it was essential for the butterfly to struggle out of its cocoon. As it pressed its way through the tiny opening, the pressure would force excess fluids out of its body and into its wings. It was this struggle that allowed butterflies to fly.
Your struggle today, as hard as it may be, is God helping you to develop the strength He knows you will need tomorrow. God sees what we need but His timing is important to what He is trying to build in us. We can’t rush the process.
(Excerpt from: “When God Stops,” by Derek Grier, Kindle edition, pgs. 60-61.)
Rom. 8:25 “But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
Ps. 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”