Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beauty Through Struggle

In my room is a card a friend gave me which has the most beautiful picture of a butterfly.
As I lay here sick in bed and look at this card, I reflect on what our pastor talked about the other day in church. He was talking about the metamorphosis or change that the caterpillar undergoes in order to become a beautiful butterfly.

He pointed out that in order for the butterfly to break out of the cocoon (chrysalis), it first has to struggle. It’s just like us. In order for us to transform into the beautiful creatures we're intended to be, we too must encounter struggles. Without the struggle, the butterfly's wings would not develop the necessary strength.

I don't know about you but I'm not a lover of the struggle. Inwardly and/or outwardly I have the tendency to complain rather than embrace the difficulty. I complain when work or the people in my life are not the way I want them to be. I complain when I don't change as quickly as I want to. I complain when I'm not able to do what I want to do it when I want to do it. I worship comfort, security, approval by others, achievement, and control .

But, complaining doesn't lead to beauty. Being grateful for what you DO have, being patient and not having to have everything instantly, and being humble and realizing that you don't know everything nor do you control the world, strengthens those butterfly wings. Allowing the Divine to do His work in us His way and in His time creates a breeding ground for this transformation. It strengthens our wings so that we will be able to one day rise up and dance on the wind as the butterflies do.

If you're like me and you sometimes feel incapable of doing this metamorphosis on your own, remind yourself of this: God's is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).

I find this verse gives me hope and encouragement through the difficulties. It is not ME who is to be able to do this on my own. It is not MY power I am to rely on. It is the power that creates and sustains life that wants to do for me more than I can conceive and far more than I deserve.

You don't have to earn it. You don't have to be good enough. It's not about religion or following rules or going to church. It's grace. It's a gift. Embrace the gift, embrace the Giver and embrace your beauty.

Dance on the wind and fly above your struggles.

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