Monday, March 29, 2010

The Purpose of the Struggle

Does anyone know the origin or author of this famous story?

The story of the butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.  One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn't go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body. Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been.
We would never fly.

Right now, I feel like my cocoon was just snipped.  But, I am trying to look at this way:  maybe it wasn't cut at all and it's just part of my sanctification process. I just need to grow stronger and struggle a little longer and allow myself to mature and be molded in the process.


  1. I really like this story! I have heard it before but don't know the source. Funny, I had to look up the word "sanctification" today to understand some of Andrew's AWANA work -- that is a new word for me. I absolutely think that if you let Him, God will use the hard things in your life as a sanctification process. Yeah, I needed that reminder . . .

  2. Everywhere I looked...Author Unknown. I think I might print this out and post in my room so that when the kids try and get me to do it for them I can have them read the story.