There is the story of a man who walked across a caterpillar nestled in a cocoon. Curious about its movement, the man brought to his home the caterpillar so he could watch it emerge as a butterfly. A few days later, the man observed a tiny opening through which the caterpillar struggled to come out.
Thinking that something was wrong, the man took out a pair of scissors and and cut the remaining bits of the cocoon. As a result, the butterfly soon came out easily but with swollen body and shriveled wings. Instead of becoming a lovely creature with wings so free to fly, the butterfly spent the rest of its life dragging around a distorted body and weakened set of wings.
Struggle is part of a butterfly’s healthy development. It’s difficulty in escaping a constricting cocoon is God’s way of forcing fluid from its body into its wings. The man who thought he was showing “mercy” to the cocoon when he shortcut its struggle was, in fact, cruel. His act of “saving” had produced a disabled, dysfunctional butterfly.
In my life, when I was suffering and trying to seek relief for my pain, I desired that people around me would come along and “save” me. But over time, I realized that it was my struggles that gave me what I actually needed to develop into someone better and wiser. I had to experience every one of those struggles, big and small, to arrive at a point where I could complete my wings, spread them, and fly beautifully.