Are You a Butterfly or Still in a Coccoon?-- Patience During Life's Hard-Pressed Days

by Sally Matheny

     Happy to be out of those tight cocoons, butterflies and moths are flitting about. Are you aflutter with happiness or are you in the midst of a dark cocoon? We all go through trials in our lives. Patience is needed during life's hard-pressed days.
     We often ask God to take away difficult situations. Sometimes He does change our circumstances, but quite often, He chooses to change us.
     When a caterpillar is inside the cocoon, it is essentially being broken down and reformed into something new. Can you imagine going in as a caterpillar and being pressed and pulled in all sorts of seemingly unnatural directions?

   But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV)

Psalm 118:5 reminds us   
When hard pressed I cried to the Lord;
he brought me into a spacious place.”

     It’s during our most difficult and darkest hours that, if we trust God, and lean not on our own understanding, then we, too are transformed into something stronger, something better.
     How many of you can testify that it has been through your darkest hours that you grew closer to Jesus? And when you came out of the testing, you were changed for the better?
     Nobody wants difficulties in life. No one really desires to go into a dark cocoon. But, what a miracle it is when God brings us out of one and into a spacious place!

     God promises he will never abandon us. We may question that at times. However, when our situation seems impossible, that’s when God’s power is more visible 
     A certain kind of caterpillar builds its cocoon on a reed underneath water. The cocoon protects it from drowning. And in God’s perfect timing, a butterfly emerges from the cocoon. Can butterflies swim? This one does! It swims right through that pressing water and out into a “spacious place.”

     Another type of caterpillar produces a sweet juice. Ants really like this caterpillar. When the caterpillar enters into its cocoon, the ants carry the cocoon down deep under the ground into their nest. Seems like the caterpillar is doomed, doesn’t it? But God has a plan. The caterpillar stays protected in its cocoon. When the butterfly finally emerges from the cocoon, God enables it to climb right past those ants, out of those tight, dark tunnels and into a spacious place!

     No matter what "cocoon" you’re in, anything is possible with God! Hang on and keep praying—butterfly days are just ahead!

     Share with us! Have you had "cocoon" type days? When you felt hard-pressed, how did God bring you into a spacious place? Any helpful tips for others on what they can do as they wait on the Lord?  

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