A sanctuary in my garden. . .(click on the arrow for clarity and 3 second action)
I stand on sacred ground as I dead-head my butterfly bush and feel the brush of delicate wings against my hands or their touch, gentle on my shoulders.
Paint companies evidently have mimicked the various colors of the butterfly. I counted over 30 different colors–even five unusual hues of orange –this past Saturday morning of these hovering at the bush.
I could stand in the hot sun for hours observing these winged blessings around me, oblivious to the snipping of my scissors. For me they are a symbol of beauty and freedom. Their fragility only enhances their exquisite existence.
Every butterfly, every moth goes through the same process to fly. Before flight they all go through a total metamorphosis from a tiny egg to a thing of beauty.
Amazing, awesome. I squeal with joy What a Creator to have gifted us humans with such delight.
Then I remember. . .
The struggle. The struggle is required. There is no way for the becoming butterfly to get through the tiny opening without the struggle. It is nature’s way of forcing a liquid from the body of the pupa or chrysalis into its wings. Without this struggle there would be no flight.
When our children were small, we found a cocoon in late fall and set up a home for it in a cigar box, complete with twigs, grass and weeds. We had no idea if or what cocoons ate. We didn’t have Google then. All winter it lived near the fireplace, never making a sound. Then one day in spring, we heard a rustling in the box. All four children and I eagerly watched the birth of our butterfly. Someone thought we should “help” it; “It will never make it on its own; we gotta help it.”
I remember getting scissors and cutting away a part of the of the covering that would make the transformation easier. Just a little bit. Then we watched in complete sadness as the butterfly flopped out and lay exposed with wet, limp wings. Useless. There would be no life, no flight, no purpose for this particular butterfly. In our zeal to spare it the struggle, we had crippled it forever.
I imagine God knows we need the struggle; we must have it for life. Would there be any beauty in my life, in your life, without the struggle that enables your or my existence? A struggle that empowers us to be something of worth and purpose. The delicate beauty of a butterfly is solely a result of its struggle.
Struggles happen; they come in life. Simply, often through no fault, life is a painful journey. Do I fix it quickly with needle and thread? Do I find my answer, my ‘help’ on Google? Or do I embrace the struggle with the knowledge that it is necessary for my flight in the NOW.
As the butterfly must experience the struggle for its only life purposes of propagation and pollination, so I must journey through struggles. But I, unlike the struggling chrysalis, must have a Helper, an Enabler through the process of becoming.
Paul knew the lesson of struggle. Three times he pleaded for the Lord to remove a thorn in the flesh, something that tormented him. “But the Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in the struggles. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 8-9 .
Then, and only then, are my wings developed strong, and I can fly.
. . . embracing the struggle. . .