Lessons Learned from Sickness Part 40: The Necessity of Suffering
By pastor Ronny luces
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. Inside he felt he saw a struggling wormlike creature wanting to come out and join the world as a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours, as it struggled to force its body through the little hole.
Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as possible, and it could go no further.
The man was filled with kindness and compassion. He decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily but it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that at any moment, the wings would expand and be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its time crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings.
It never was able to fly. It soon died miserably.
The man unwittingly prevented one of God’s processes to introduce the meaning of growth and qualitative development, which is metamorphosis.
It is growth not just manifested in increase of height or weight, but in transformation.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Because it was deprived of experiencing such a critical growth process, that unfortunate butterfly became a cripple for life.
It can not taste the wonderful experience of flying, and it can’t visit flowers from which it can gather nectar and pollen.
Perhaps many of us are saying to ourselves right now, that that man did a very ignorant and irresponsible action or mistake. He should have let nature take its course.
He should not have intervened with the process that he was not familiar in the first place.
But how many of the people we know are doing it for their children, or for the persons they love?
And how many of us are praying to God not to let us experience struggles and sufferings in life?
Look around you.
Many parents are making everything easy for their children.
They are facilitating everything so that their loved ones will not experience any struggle, suffering or sacrifices.
That is why many children don’t know how to manage themselves or their affairs. They are always looking or asking for their mothers and fathers to take over.
Their cocoons were cut off in their early years, and they have never experienced struggles and sufferings.
Everything seems so easy for them – but they grow rootless and with shriveled wings.
They were deprived of character-building struggles, sufferings and training for discipline. It will be tough for them to fly.
Posted on FB: Tuesday, 3 April 2015 at 1:29 PM
About the Author
Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of the Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and his wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.
Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.
In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.
Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny wrote his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.” In July 2015, he passed away.
May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.
Living things in this world undergo a process of growth. We are free to by-pass other minor ones, but we will also a somehow feel rough area as we move on. While we can overcome this minor imbalance however or as Physician would term this as “the state of being out of equilibrium”, the normal process is a bit disturbed. It can not be easily detected but the aftermath of life has been somehow disturbed which can come out as a person ages. Thanks for this beautiful reflection Pastor Ronny Luces.