We can learn from the butterfly's struggle

Life-lessons seem to come from the strangest places. I have a huge Lantana outside my sunroom door. All summer the hummingbirds visit it, and now it has become the feeding station for the Monarch butterflies.

Monarch butterflies have a short life-span, only weeks. These newborn butterflies make the journey south to their winter home using instinct only. These magnificent babies have been equipped to make this journey by overcoming life’s first struggle.

We all learned in elementary school to never help a butterfly escape from its chrysalis. I remember watching the fledgling butterfly struggle to open the tough sack, rest, and struggle again. My heart ached and it would have been easy for me to tear the fibers and allow the butterfly to emerge. But the struggle to be free of the chrysalis strengthens the butterfly’s wings. Without the work to escape, the wings are too weak to support flight.

As I watch these amazing creatures, it occurs to me that we can learn a life-lesson from the butterfly. How many times have we cried out to God to help us by changing a diagnosis, improving our financial situation, releasing us from a crisis, and so on?

It would be easy for God to do any of these things, a snap of His majestic fingers. But He knows if He helps us, we will be weak without the struggle. God knows what comes next in our journey, and He knows we need the “muscle” we develop by working through the unwanted situation, as painful as it may be. God is equipping us for the next step in our journey.

The apostle Paul often praised God for the uncomfortable situations he found himself in, like shipwrecks or jail. It is hard to praise God in the midst of turmoil, and yet that is when we need to exercise our muscle of praise the most. God equipped the butterfly with instinct. He has equipped us with the Holy Spirit to help us during our toughest trials.

May this week bring you peace. But if you find yourself in a life-struggle, know that God has equipped you to get through it.

Blessings in your struggle, Regina

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