John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
My daughter teaches a grade two class, and she called the other night a little distraught. It seems what was to have been a beautiful day didn't go quite so beautifully.
She explained that the class had been "growing" butterflies. It sounded so wonderful to me, as I'd never really thought of a bunch of little kids "growing" butterflies. The day of release had arrived, but some of the sugar water used to attract them outside had spilled on the floor, attracting two of the beautiful butterflies to its' sticky sweet spot.
As they stuck, they struggled, and when she tried to help, one died right away and the other's wing tore off and it fluttered to its death. She also felt badly about a cocoon she had discarded, sure that the caterpillar inside was dead, because another one, which she had almost discarded, emerged later than all the rest. She knows full well that this is all part of life, but still it is a bit of a tough lesson when you're teaching little people full of anticipation at the thought of setting free the beautiful butterflies they've grown.
Our lives are like the butterflies' lives, both physically and spiritually. Some of us emerge with no trouble at all. Some are always struggling. Some of us take a little or a lot longer than others to emerge, and need a little coaxing and/or a lot of support. Some never come out of the "cocoon", either through spiritual birth, or through the cocoons we have built for ourselves.
And still others, having emerged beautifully, are taken, seemingly just when the taste of life is so sweet.
It is a tough lesson to learn, but God is the teacher and He knows everyone's life plan. It must be hard for Him to see us struggle, to lose our way, or to stay within our cocoons. Surely the hardest lesson for Him to teach us was through the death of His own son, Jesus. But He knows this is all part of His Master Plan and, just like the butterfly, he has given us every stage of life, to learn.
Prayer: All knowing Father, be with us in our struggles, support us in our journeys, love us as we learn the lessons you have set out to teach us, and rejoice with us in our accomplishments. In Your name we pray. Amen.