"Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you...” Psalm 55:22
Although most of us prefer not to admit it, there is a purpose for the pain we go through.
Consider the pain a caterpillar must experience during its transition in becoming a beautiful butterfly. As a caterpillar, it crawls the earth searching for food, using its many legs to climb the height of trees. In order to go through its transformation, it must endure a deep incubation period wrapped in a tight cocoon, unable to move to the right or left, up or down. It is almost a direct metaphor for the way most of us feel when we are going through personal strife. —Stuck, confined, nowhere to turn. In order to experience flight, and life as a butterfly, it must wait for the cocoon to harden; and then, it must physically fight its way out. This process is not immediate—it takes time. More importantly, it cannot be rushed. If the butterfly cannot meet the struggle to make it out of the cocoon, it dies, and the cocoon becomes a coffin.
Although we believe our strife is completely unwarranted, and we commonly find ourselves asking God to remove our pain, problem, or adversity, the process of strife is necessary to aid us in becoming closer to God. Why? Because most of the time when things are going wonderfully, we forget about our relationship with God. When things are stressful and hardships are present, we remember to find solace in communicating with God. Similar to the caterpillar during its restriction in the cocoon, God forces us to concentrate not on the exterior elements of our life, but the inner transformation necessary to experience a transition. This type of transition takes us from a superficial relationship with God, to a deeper level of understanding what it truly means to receive sustenance from Him.
Jesus, while in deep communal prayer with God in the Garden of Gethsemane, asked God three times to “remove this cup” from Him. Yet, He also said, “Not as I will, but as Thou will.” (Mark 14:36) This statement is the key invocation added to our prayers that will help us as we pray for ourselves while going through our own adversity.
Chances are, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the pain during your level of adversity will not go away. However, God will give you the strength to actually move through it. And, like the butterfly struggling through the process of emerging from its cocoon, you will emerge transformed and much stronger from the process, with the ability to clearly see the world from a completely different perspective and a much higher vantage point. L.
Study Reference: Psalm 55, Mark 14:32-42
From: "PAIN: Processing The Painful." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell