I could hardly believe my eyes when I was sitting on the Beach at Chincoteague Island VA this past weekend. A Butterfly was flying above the sand, navigating the strong winds that are always blowing near the ocean. As I walked the beach, I discovered more and more of them. Chincoteague is unique as an island, because it straddles a small peninsula with the Bay on one side and the Ocean on the other. On the Bay side, there are lots of plants, sea grasses, and ground covers that have flowers blooming. This must be what attracts the butterflies to such a hostile environment. I have always considered butterflies to be so fragile, but to watch them navigate these strong winds, flying right into them, was fascinating.
It reminded me of how the Bible says,
Philippians 4:12-13 (NASB)
12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
God enables us to do the seemingly impossible. Have you ever been in a circumstance where you just felt like you couldn’t go on? You felt like a fish out of water, a bird with an injured wing, or perhaps, a butterfly at the beach. It was going to take strength beyond your imagining to get through this time of trial. You cried out to God to remove the struggle from You, to change your circumstances, to release you from your pain. But He seemed to be silent, He seemed not to answer your prayers. The apostle Paul, himself, felt this struggle.
A Thorn in the Flesh
7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
And so I believe God deals with each of us as He dealt with the Apostle Paul, He allows us to remain in difficult circumstances sometimes, so that we grow stronger, and He gets all the glory. I guarantee you that those butterflies at the beach are stronger, more agile and capable than the butterflies in a meadow. When we have to fly against the wind, or swim against the currents in our lives, we develop strength like no other. So let us declare with Paul, “Therefore, I am will content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Lord Jesus, make me like a Butterfly at the Beach…Amen