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My granddaughter asked me why life has so many difficulties for some. I had been thinking about this
too. Friends have lost spouses and children. Others deal with one physical ailment after another. I whine
about an Achilles that keeps blowing up until I lift my eyes off of myself and look around. In this Breast
Cancer Awareness month, I look with admiration at the women that are not merely survivors but
conquerors. Their strength inspires me. My mama is among those women. She may be the strongest
woman I have ever known. That strength is deep and steady and I know it comes from the Lord. I have
fed on her strength and goodness.

When we face trials of all kinds God uses them to make us stronger. While we grieve, He draws us near
and it’s there under His wings that we become intimate with the God of the universe. He is close to the
brokenhearted. He raises up the unexpected prodigals. He uses the weak to show His glory.

He turns us in to butterflies. To me they symbolize new life, but they begin this life seemingly worthless.
They start out as larvae…nasty little worms. Their job is to eat and grow – much in the way our lives
begin. We start with milk and learn to chew. We need food to grow but we also need Spiritual
nourishment to thrive. Jesus gives us Living Water and the Bread of Life. Sharing Christ with another is
inviting them to His great banquet table. As we take Jesus in and learn to trust Him, we are preparing
ourselves for the unexpected. I wonder if the caterpillar knows the cocoon is coming. Maybe, maybe
not, but he’s been feeding his whole life, therefore, he is ready.

The thought of a pupa or chrysalis just makes me feel claustrophobic! Hard times can make us feel
closed in. Have you ever just wanted to come up for air? In our hard times it’s difficult to see the good at
work. But the struggle makes us stronger. God uses that cocoon and all the cells of that icky caterpillar
to slowly form something beautiful, strong and productive. God has planted everything you need deep
inside of you. You can always trust the One who loves you most!

 

These have been hard days. I can hardly stand to think of the loss we have all suffered. My heart grows
weary for the suffering. A close friend and I were talking about two Godly men who crossed the pearly
gates recently. She suggested that God was taking some good ones to prepare His army upstairs. I can’t
argue with that I don’t pretend to know all that the Lord is up to. Yet, today as I meditate, it is the ones
left here that are on my mind. As I look at her and others who have emerged from their cocoons, I see
Father creating a mighty army here on this earth. These survivors have been in boot camp. When we
face trials of all kinds, God uses them to make us stronger. He arms us with peace, joy, love, humility,
perseverance, wisdom, and understanding. We didn’t even know we had those things until we stepped
into that chrysalis and let God do His work in us. Or maybe you thought they were lost when you
stepped inside. Not so.

Don’t forget that God stepped inside with you. While you walk in the fire, your faith shows another’s
reflection. Perhaps you are there now, dear soldier. Reach for the One who is at your side. I thought I
knew God until I went through a fire with Him. Now we are one. He showed me that. And yet, I long to
know Him fully. Going from a worm to a butterfly can be excruciating, but the wings on the other side
are Heavenly. Go ahead and step out of that cocoon with confidence. Even if your wings won’t quite
spread out, they will soon. And the flight Home is filled with beauty. Be blessed, Butterfly.