There is an old story about a man who spent hours watching as a butterfly struggled to emerge from its cocoon. It finally managed, after significant time and effort, to make a small hole, but its body was still far too big to get through it. After much wrestling and toil, the butterfly appeared to be totally exhausted, as it laid there lifeless and still.
The man had seen enough, he finally decided he just had to help. He took a pair of scissors and cut and opening in the cocoon to allow the butterfly to be released from its struggle. But no sooner had the butterfly emerged, than the man noticed its body was shrunken and its wings puny and shriveled. It was incapable of flight.
What the man—out of kindness and good intent—had assumed was that the butterfly needed to be rescued, when it actually needed to be left to struggle. It was the struggle to emerge from the tight cocoon and the effort necessary to squeeze out of that small hole that were supposed to make the butterfly’s wings strong enough for flight.
And so it is with each of us. Our transformation cannot happen without struggle and pain and turmoil, although we try to avoid each. In fact, it is the struggle and the toil and the wrestling that makes our souls into all that God desires them to be. If we try to bypass the hard and the uncomfortable and the unpleasant, we will never be ready for the flight and the life that God has prepared for each of us. It is both good and necessary. It is vital to our process of becoming.