This has been another challenging year for us, and I am sure you are glad it is coming to an end. However, I am also certain you wonder if the following year might not be worse. I want to tell you that it will be a great year! Our struggles over these two years have made us stronger, tougher, and braver. Not only will we be able to face the challenges that lie ahead, but we will overcome them and soar into our destiny.
We are not in this alone. God is with us. And if he isn’t helping us, it is for a good reason. Have you heard the story about the man who helped a butterfly hatch from its cocoon? Watching a butterfly struggling for hours to force itself through a tiny hole in its cocoon, the man decided to help the butterfly out. He took a pair of scissors and widened the gap. The butterfly then emerged easily. However, it had a swollen body and tiny, shriveled wings. It would never fly.
The man had a kind heart and meant well, but he didn’t have the wisdom to realize that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the restricting cocoon was needed to force fluid from the butterfly’s body into its wings to prepare it for flying once it was free. In his desire to be kind, he had crippled the butterfly
Fortunately for us, our God is wise as well as kind-hearted, and he knows that our struggles help shape us into being the people he created us to be. He is not dispassionate, however. Do you remember teaching your child to walk? You would help her take her first steps by holding her hands. But then, you knew she had to do it without support, so you would hide and watch her try to walk on her own. It’s exactly like that with God. He’s watching over us as we go through our struggles, knowing that there were some things we have to learn to do on our own.
“So, do not fear, for I have redeemed you,” he declares in one of the most reassuring promises found in Scripture. “I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:1-2).
What more can we ask for? So, dear friend, look forward to a wonderful year ahead, quite possibly the best ever.
May the Spirit be with you.