My husband and I were enjoying a break from gardening in the sunshine when we noticed a butterfly was trapped and trying to escape from the greenhouse. As we relaxed enjoying our ice cream, we watched it repeatedly fluttering against the glass at the opposite end of the greenhouse to the open door. It was futile, not only was there no opening in the glass, but it was also flying very close to spiders’ webs which could easily have entangled it, and then there was the stifling heat of the greenhouse which had reached over 30 degrees.
Unable to watch it struggle any longer, my husband went and rescued it, cupping it in his hands and releasing it into the garden. As we watched it fly freely high up in the sky, he said, “They only have a short life. If it was you, you wouldn’t want to spend your whole life trying to escape, would you?”
His passing comment made me think. There’s a struggle the butterfly goes through to free itself from the chrysalis – a struggle that God intends, the struggle that leads to life. And then there was this struggle, which if it had been left, would have led to death.
We, too, have struggles in our Christian walk. How important it is to identify our struggles. There is the one that Paul talks about (in Romans 7-8), which is the battle against our sinful nature. Then there is the battle to forgive when the temptation is to hold on to the wrongs we have suffered and let them fester. And there is the battle to trust the Lord when it would be so much easier to allow fears to control us. These are the battles we need to fight, as Paul urges us to. Because we have the Holy Spirit living in us, we will win, and, as the butterfly did, we will break free and we will live (Romans 8:13). These are the struggles that lead to life.
But then there’s the other kind. We can be like that butterfly, trapped and struggling in the greenhouse, convinced that we know the way to freedom. We might say, “If I had someone who cared enough about me”, “I need the right person to help me”, or “I need God to just do a miracle of healing”. We can be in danger of never coming into freedom if we are bashing ourselves against the window of our own agenda or putting conditions on receiving God’s healing and release.
As my husband said, “You wouldn’t want to spend your whole life trying to escape, would you?” Praise God! We, too, have an open door to freedom. God sent Jesus, and He says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved” (John 10:9). We may have spent many months, or even years, struggling like the butterfly in the greenhouse, but all we have to do is humble ourselves and say, “Not my way anymore, Lord Jesus. Please show me Your way”. He is so faithful, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and He will answer your heart cry and come and show you and lead you to His new and different way, the doorway to true freedom.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank You that Your heart is for me and for my freedom, so much so that You sent Jesus, who said, “I am the door”. I am sorry that I have been stubborn in clinging to my own ideas of how I can come into freedom. I don’t want to spend my whole life trying to escape from things that have held me captive. Not my way anymore, Father. Please show me Your way. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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