Pastor’s Corner: “Blessings in the Struggle”

Romans 5:3-5 (NLT) – 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon; a man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it seems to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body and tiny, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body in order to fly. Neither happened.

In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man in his kindness did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings. Then it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. But by depriving it of that natural course of struggles, he had incapacitated the butterfly for life.

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need. If we were allowed to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. We would never be able to fly. Isaiah 55:9 (NIV) – 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We ask for strength…but are given difficulties to make us strong. We ask for wisdom…but are given problems to solve. We ask for prosperity…but are given intelligence and strength to work. We ask for courage….but are given obstacles to overcome. We ask for love…and are given troubled people to help. We asked for favors…But are given opportunities. We received nothing we wanted…But are given everything we need.

God designed the struggle to be a part of the plan. Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV) – 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. The butterfly has to struggle to strengthen its wings so that it can soar. Struggle encourages perseverance. We want God to transform our life but there have been times that we look more to others to help us rather than let Him work within us and strengthen us. And in the process we miss the blessings in the struggle. Do not try to bypass or avoid the struggle. Allow God to work and strengthen you in your struggle knowing that the Lord is preparing you to fly!

In His Grace,

Pastor Hamilton