A little boy caught a beautiful caterpillar. He kept this caterpillar in a jar and had a stick with some leaves put in the jar to watch the caterpillar crawl around. He loved the caterpillar and watched him all the time. First thing in the morning and last thing at night he thought and watched this caterpillar. One day he noticed a very strange thing happening to the caterpillar. So he ran to his Mom asking her about his caterpillar. After she saw what was going on, she told him that the caterpillar was weaving a cocoon for himself and would later become a butterfly.
The child was so excited. Every day he watched the caterpillar and eagerly waited for the day when the caterpillar would undergo its metamorphosis and become a butterfly. Day after day looked like nothing was happening, but one day they boy finally noticed some movement as the caterpillar began to struggle its way through the cocoon. As the boy noticed the caterpillar he loved, struggling more and more, but not able to quite make it out of the cocoon, he got an idea to help the caterpillar. He ran and picked up a pair of scissors, but walked back (since children are not supposed to run with sharp objects in their hand . Then he reached in there, and very carefully, cut the cocoon to help the caterpillar out. Soon the caterpillar made it out much easier and the wings began to form.
The boy noticed that his caterpillar was not yet able to fly, but kept limping with only a partially formed wing. He was waiting. Day after day, the caterpillar walked around but its wings never formed well. Finally the Mom and son took the caterpillar to a nearby specialist to find out what was going on.
They learned then, that when the caterpillar struggles through its cocoon, and seems to be in a lot of pain from the struggle, while struggling and struggling with the painful and seemingly overwhelming problem, special juices start flowing to its wings helping with the final metamorphosis for the wings to fully form. With the loving child concentrated only on the temporary pain of its precious caterpillar, the caterpillar had not struggled enough; and therefore, never got enough juices to form its wings completely. Unfortunately, he would now not complete his metamorphosis and would stay a struggling caterpillar for the rest of its life.
I once read the story of a Martyr who had suffered for Christ. After she had been tortured and left this world into the presence of Christ, she was given the Grace to appear in a dream to a faithful Christian. She said if she had known what she knows now and the glory she was experiencing; she would have asked to suffer more for Christ, for the eternal joy is incomparable with the Joy of Life Eternal she now experienced.
When we struggle and are in deep pains, let us remember that God is working out all things together for our good (Romans 8). Recall that as Job suffered the most intense pains in life, losing even his children to satanic attacks, and all his life’s savings were gone (as many today are sadly suffering); even as his wife sadly got preoccupied with the pains of this world and told him to curse God and die, Faithful servant of God Job told his wife: Shall I give up my heart of thanks to God just because I am going through a tough time in my life? And The LORD said that in all this, Job had kept his heart in God’s call (Job 1:21).Let us be thankful in all things (1thess 5). It’s easier to give thanks when we are blessed financially and with great health, but when we are called to suffer, let’s remember the caterpillar and the faithful heroes of our faith. Allow God to form Christ in us, so we may die to the things of this world which are temporal, and live unto God according to that which is unseen and eternal (2 Cor 4).
Trust our Heavenly Father in all things. Give thanks always. Work out our Salvation with God’s Power of Grace in His Loving Awe inspiring humbling Presence. Let us focus our minds our minds on that which is above all our struggles, so we may be transformed into what we are made to be: Like Christ. As God’s Kingdom is formed in us through our momentary struggles, we recall that it may be dark tonight in this world, but the bright and glorious day is coming. As we abide in Christ’s Life in us, one day we shall see Him and rejoice that He has mercifully allowed us to struggle through life so we may undergo internal metamorphosis and become more like Christ!
“Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable POWER with “us”. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!”
We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One, who raised Jesus up from the dead, will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory as you abide in Christ Jesus. So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (2 Cor 4)
I know a dear executive who had just come through his first 100 Million dollar year only to have losses unimaginable follow. As he struggled, he discovered that the battle was not about how “much” he gained, but about WHO he was becoming. Whether you are struggling with making rent payments or meeting payroll for hundreds of employees, or are going through a powerful high time financially, but with overwhelming struggles in other areas of your life, always recall that the seasons in life come and go. It might be Winter now, but Spring is around the corner. No matter what, this too shall pass! A new day is coming. Hope is alive in Christ Jesus!
Seeds of this note of hope are from a message by a dear friend & Pastor/Fr. James Early at the funeral of our dear friend and Pastor/Fr. Matthew Mackay . May his memory be eternal. Next week will be his 6th month memorial.Passage above from “The Message” http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+4&version=MSG
pictures courtesy of http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/