When I think of my journey,
I compare it to that of a caterpillar…
Remember the butterfly? As a caterpillar it thinks the dirt is all that God has for her. Crawling around on the ground she has a limited view of the beautiful creation surrounding her. All she sees is dirt and rocks and grass, nothing special. And then, unexpectedly and without warning, a cocoon develops — a dark restrictive wrapping that feels more like a “straight jacket” than a security blanket. All of a sudden she feels very alone. She can’t see the sun outside or feel God’s presence like she did before. It’s dark and she feels like God has abandoned her. She wonders what she did to deserve this. Is this some sort of punishment or cruel misfortune? She struggles and fights to get out, but with no success.
She asks the tough questions. Does God not hear her cries? Does He not care? All the while, the struggle builds her strength. She is changing. She can’t see it yet, but it is most assuredly happening. The struggle releases toxins — poisons — built up in her system. She is being refined, purified. The very process that causes her pain is actually saving her life.
Wings develop. She doesn’t know what they are or what they are used for. This whole process seems strange, confusing. What’s the point in all this? She tries to break free. The cocoon is hard. It’s not easy to break out of. But she persists. God remains distant . . . or so it seems. Why doesn’t He help her break out of this prison? All the while her struggle increases her wing strength.
Suddenly . . . she breaks through. She sees light. She struggles some more. Her hope is increasing. The light is getting brighter; her escape hole is getting wider. The obstacles in front of her no longer seem impenetrable. And then, it happens. She breaks free.
Her wings, strengthened by the struggle, flap with determination. They lift her higher. She begins to fly. She looks around her. She is no longer a prisoner. She is free. The world around her looks different, more beautiful. So open, so wide, so free from restrictions. “Yes, this is better,” she says to herself. “Much better.”
You see, God in His great goodness, knows that the struggles we face are necessary to build our strength. To take us to a higher level, more beautiful than we’ve ever known before. What seems like cruel punishment is actually God’s MERCY. He is saying, “Don’t settle for crawling around on the ground, when you can fly. You can soar!”
Just like the caterpillar, there are times in this process that I too have felt very alone. Things happened that I didn’t expect. All of a sudden my world turned upside down. I didn’t feel God’s presence like I used too. Everything seemed very dark — almost as if God had abandoned me. At the time I wondered what I did to deserve this. I struggled and fought to get out of my circumstances but with no success. I was ready to give up.
Have you ever felt like that? Can you relate to the caterpillar? Do your circumstances feel like a cocoon?
Rise up little caterpillar. God has so much more for you than this.
ALL butterflies were meant to fly!