Out with the old, in with the new is just one of the many phrases and greetings that are a part of marking time from one year to the next. We make champagne toasts, blow noise makers and wear party hats all as a way of saying goodbye to the year we have lived, and welcoming in a new year. When we are struggling through hardships, we yearn to move forward, away from the failures and losses of the past year. Looking forward to the clean slate that a New Year represents, many of us make New Year’s resolutions promising to break bad habits or to do the things we have always dreamed possible.
Nevertheless, most of us realize that despite our cheery greetings and best wishes, the year that stretches ahead of us, our clean slate will not only be blessed with happiness and wishes come true, but it might also be marred with frustrations, disappointment and losses.
What will the months ahead have in store for you, for me? No one knows for sure, but a few things are certain. No matter where you find yourself, there will be periods of highs and lows, and “so-so’s.” We will change physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and our lives will reflect the ways in which we cope with those changes.
My New Year’s wish for you is that you continue to see God’s plan as it plays out within your lives in 2014. I pray that on the days of being on the mountain tops of life that you shout with Joy and thank God for his blessings in your life. That during the “so-so” days you search for meaning in the mundane details of life, and that when you are walking through the times of loss and despair that you remember this story, entitled “Butterfly.”
A man found the cocoon of 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 that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and could go no further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the 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 its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. And we would never fly.” -Author Unknown