With our nation experiencing civil unrest and a global pandemic simultaneously, many of us are struggling to make it by. Cynicism, hopelessness, and despair can easily creep into our lives if we don’t understand that “struggling” is a natural and necessary process in our mental and emotional development. I am reminded of a story I heard when I was a teen about a boy who found a butterfly cocoon on the side of a tree near his bedroom. The boy would look at the cocoon every day, observing the slightest changes in its form.
One day a small opening appeared at the end of the cocoon and the boy carefully watched as the butterfly struggled to force its body through the tiny hole. After a while, the butterfly suddenly stopped making any progress and it appeared to be stuck. So the boy decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and cut a larger opening which allowed the butterfly to emerge easily, although its body was swollen and its wings were small and shriveled. The boy didn’t think anything of it and sat there waiting for the wings to get bigger to support the butterfly’s swollen body. Unfortunately, that never happened. The butterfly spent the rest of its life unable to fly, crawling around with tiny wings and a swollen body.
Despite the well-intentioned action by the boy, he didn’t understand that the butterfly needed the natural struggle to get through the restricting cocoon. It was God’s way of forcing the butterfly’s body fluid into its wings, a necessary process that increases their size and enables butterflies to fly once out of their cocoons.
The same is true in our lives. Our struggles increase our strength. Without struggles, it is impossible to grow. During difficult times, we should do our best to avoid becoming a victim of cynicism, hopelessness and despair. If we accept our struggles as a natural part of our human development and fight through troubling times, we will ultimately come out stronger on the other side and much better prepared for the next phase of our lives. God bless you all.
Executive Director, Baylor “B” Association
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