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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


The Butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly as he was walking along one day. He decided to cut off the branch and take it home with him. Soon after, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress at all. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and that it could go no further, so the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand and be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening was God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into his wings so that it could be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what you and I need in life. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, we would be crippled all our life. We could never grow into what He desires for us to be. In other words, WE COULD NEVER FLY!

II Corinthians 4:16-18 says, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. "

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward