Strength in the Struggle

Every morning I try to read a few pages in 
I wanted to share an excerpt from today’s reading.
It impacted me quite a bit this morning.
“The story is told of an old man who discovered a caterpillar.  
He decided to keep the small creature and watch its transformation into a butterfly.
Sure enough, within days the fuzzy worm began spinning its cocoon.
The man watched with fascination as the entire encasement was meticulously completed.
Then he waited.  And waited.
Finally, after several weeks,
 the old man noticed that the butterfly was beginning to emerge from its woven shell.
His interest turned to concern, however, 
as he watched the little creature struggling hard to free itself.
Feeling compassion, he decided to help.
With a small knife he clipped away part of the cocoon,
enabling the butterfly to get out quickly and easily.
But the man’s initial delight turned to sorrow as he saw the beautiful creature
now struggle to fly.
You see, butterflies strengthen their wings through the process
of pushing and struggling against the cocoon walls. 
As they emerge, fluid is pushed from their bodies into their wings,
giving them the necessary elements to fly.  
In cutting away the cocoon, the man had denied the butterfly the opportunity
it needed to persevere and grow strong on its own.”
This story and point of the story were not new to me,
but it’s just like Him, isn’t it – to give you a reminder right when you need one.
Karol Ladd goes on in the book to encourage us moms to not try to shield our children from all struggle, 
but to allow them the opportunities and walk with them as they grow and change.
That was all good for me to hear today too.
But somewhere deep within me, the voice of Jesus was saying,
“This is for you, too, Michelle.”
Life brings about struggle.
It’s life.
In those times, I so often ask, “Why, God?”
Perhaps it is time for me to embrace struggle.
I don’t think I need to begin to look forward to it,
but when it does come, to embrace the opportunity hold fast,
with an deeper, more confident hold,
to the one who I know will walk with me,
see me through it and allow me to grow, change and be strengthened by it.
“I remember my afflictions and my wanderings, the bitterness and the gall.
I remember them and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope;
Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fails.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, the Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.”
Lamentations 3: 19-24

 Thank you, dearest Jesus.

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