SHINE Daily

Beauty In The Struggle

My daughter Lindsey once grew a butterfly garden. We had been waiting for her three caterpillars to begin their metamorphosis and finally it was happening. One butterfly emerged from its cocoon easily. The second butterfly struggled a bit, but made it out. The third butterfly tried; it pushed, squirmed, and struggled, but it stopped fighting and just gave up. 

As the kids and I were talking about the butterflies and why the last one gave up the fight, it provided a great teaching opportunity. God brought to mind a conversation I heard between Rick Warren and Larry King. Larry asked Rick "why bad things happen to good people." 

This was Rick's answer,

"Well, Larry, it's because we live in a broken world. This is not perfect world. This is not heaven and that's why we're depraved. 'Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven.' Why? Because in heaven, everything's done perfectly. Things are not done perfectly on this earth. God gave us a freedom to choose. As a result of choices, we make mistakes, we blow it -- and whenever I make mistakes, whenever I sin, it always causes damage and causes hurt. The Bible teaches that since sin entered the world, way back with the very first human beings, we have lived in an imperfect, broken planet, and that causes hurricanes and tornadoes, and all kinds of things. This is not a perfect planet. So, we should not be surprised that it's not paradise. And also, life is not fair. In fact, the Bible says life is not fair. It's just not fair. We are in a flawed world, everything is imperfect and it won't be perfect until Jesus comes." 

We shared this story on Afternoons with Jack & Erin, and soon after received an email from SHINE-FM listener, Tamsen, in Baltimore. She had been going through a rough time and at the end of that time, she wrote herself this beautiful piece of encouragement as a reminder to herself. She graciously has allowed us to share it with you. Hope you are as encouraged reading it as we were!

 

Beauty In The Struggle
(c)2010 Tamsen Mongelli DiBlasio

I know that you are struggling. 

Struggling because you do not understand what God, in His infinite wisdom, never-failing love, and ultimate sovereignty is doing in your situation. 

What He's doing TO you. 

What He's doing FOR you. 

What He's doing ...IN you.

Maybe you feel like a caterpillar...faithfully inching along over the rough, lonely, winding path, watching the sky grow overcast, wondering what God has in store. 

Could it be that the Lord has prepared you and brought you to a special place where your Creator has now simply asked you to rest so that He can work a miracle within you?

We know that it is through the struggle that this delicate creature’s unseen beauty is ultimately revealed. Through the many nights of darkness, the silent, agonizing wait, the metamorphosis, the painful emerging... all culminates in the caterpillar not finding herself in a different place, but in realizing the far greater miracle of discovering herself somehow mysteriously, completely, and utterly changed.

And so, when it is least expected, ever so quietly, it comes. 

Not in spite of the struggle, but rather because of it, the miraculous transformation is finally revealed. 

Her Creator has changed her from the inside out...and from the outside in!

Still the same, but altogether different. 

Renewed. 

Stronger. 

Better.

She is a NEW CREATION. 

The struggle has made her beautiful.

And now she has wings... 

And she can FLY.

Co-host of Afternoons with Jack & Erin on SHINE-FM.