A man one day found a cocoon of a butterfly in his garden. From there on, he went everyday to watch, how the butterfly comes out from the cocoon. One day, a small opening appeared in the cocoon. The man sat nearby and watched for the butterfly to come out. The butterfly was struggling to come out of the cocoon. After several hours, a large part of his body was out but a certain portion of its body was still inside. It did not progress further for hours together. So the man had pity on the butterfly and brought a pair of scissors and cut opened the cocoon. Then the butterfly thus emerged easily. But it had a withered body and shriveled wings. The man watched the butterfly for hours together expecting that it would expand its wings and carry the body and fly. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.
The man in his kindness and haste did not understand the secret of its life. The butterfly by its struggle in the cocoon sends the fluid into the body to the wings, so that the wings are strengthened to fly once it comes out of the cocoon.
The lesson we have to learn from the above incident is struggles and sufferings are something needed in our life to strengthen our faith in God and in our ability to overcome. It is in fact that God allows struggles and sufferings in our life for our good and for our growth. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles and hardships, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been.
St. Paul writing to the Romans says, “We also boast in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5:3-5).
St. Peter invites us to continue to do good in the midst of suffering, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil” (1Pet 3:17). “Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will, entrust themselves to a faithful creator, while continuing to do good” (1Pet 4:19).
Most Rev. Dr. M. Devadass Ambrose
Bishop of Thanjavur