Our theme for this month: “You Gotta Keep Dancing”
Our Bible verse for today: “I am not praying that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God might not protect you “from” the circumstances, but He will protect you “in” the circumstances.”
There’s a traumatic metamorphosis that must take place in order for a caterpillar to become a butterfly. After a few weeks of stuffing itself on leaves, the plumb and lazy caterpillar will hang upside down from a tree limb, spin a cocoon around itself, and begin a 14 day process of transformation which ends with it emerging from the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly. Although what takes place within the cocoon is scientifically fascinating, it’s the emergence from the cocoon that is pertinent to our discussion this morning.
The story is told of the little boy who found a caterpillar / butterfly just beginning the process of emerging from the cocoon. The creature was fighting and struggling, and appeared to be stuck. So the boy took the blade of his penknife, carefully but fully slit the cocoon, and helped the new butterfly to emerge. However, rather than being a beautiful butterfly spreading its wings and flying away, the creature was ugly and hobbled. It limped around on the ground for a short time then it fell over and died – having never become the beautiful butterfly it was intended to be.
What the boy failed to realize was that the struggle required for the butterfly to emerge from the cocoon was designed by God to force vital fluids throughout all parts of the butterfly’s new body, including its wings. When the struggle was artificially cut short the vital fluids didn’t flow and the body never developed into what it was supposed to be. By short-circuiting the struggle and “helping” the butterfly, the boy actually doomed it to a short and sad life. It never became the thing of beauty God intended for it to be because it never went through the struggle that would have developed it into that thing of beauty.
In His great prayer for His people recorded in John chapter 17, Jesus didn’t pray for the Father to take us out of the world or to spare us from trials and struggles. Instead He prayed that God would help us in the middle of those trials and struggles. You see, the struggles are just part of life. The struggles help us to grow and to become strong. God develops us into the beautiful people He intends for us to be by having us fight through the obstacles we face.
Whatever struggle or trial you are facing today, it is an opportunity for you to grow and develop and to become stronger. God probably will not slit the cocoon. Instead He will let you go through the fight, but He will make you into a better person as a result of it.