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Watching the struggle of a butterfly as it tries to emerge from a cocoon is hard. The urge to help — to make it easier on the butterfly is so strong. Yet without the struggle that butterfly would be unable to fly. The effort required for the winged creature to force itself through the small opening of the cocoon pushes fluid from the body into its wings. Unless that happens, the butterfly’s body is too big and wings too shriveled to become airborne. Without the struggle, there would be no flight.

In our lives, we seek ways to make them trouble-free. We run from the struggle. But in much the same way as the destiny of the butterfly is to soar, our calling is to fly as well. God never calls people to just do the things that they can do on their own. He calls them to paths they could not achieve without Him. He calls them to impossible situations and over insurmountable odds to emerge victorious. It is a process of becoming, of metamorphosis. The end result is a person refined by the struggle that has become something more than. This brings glory to Him.

In our desire to attain the mountaintop though, we oftentimes find ourselves in a monumental struggle. For example, our desire to get back up again when we are knocked down by sin or circumstances may feel too difficult, may require to much of us. Our calling to forgive may be blocked by our intense desire for retribution. Our call to a particular job path may circumstantially be impossible. And the temptation is to give up, to run away. But just like the butterfly, without the struggle, there is no flight.

Maybe we need a different perspective on struggle. Matthew 7:7-8 says: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knock, the door will be opened.” The idea is to look until you find, to knock until the door is opened. Don’t give up until the door is opened. Don’t stop halfway through your journey. Press on until the end. Struggle is not bad. It’s not fun or easy, but it’s not bad. It is preparing you for who you need to be in order to fly.

We spend a lot of time praying that God would make our struggle easier. Maybe instead, we should be praying that God would make us stronger in the struggle so that we can soar.

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