Sunday, November 16, 2008

Becoming A Butterfly

First off, my sincere apologies to Steve Goodenow for reading more into his closing remarks in Sunday School, but he doesn't seem upset with me, and it did make my mind work blogging about it, so I will let that blog up. :-)

I'd like to explore an idea, and if anyone reads my ramblings, feel free to leave your input.

Most of us, if not all, have some affliction and/or temptation to deal with. Some people seem to have it easier than others, though we can't always tell from the surface. I still look at people in church and think there is no way anyone there has to deal with what I have to deal with, but who knows?

A friend of mine told me on occasion that his dad had a theory, and there may be something to it. There are people who when they become a Christian, are immediately delivered from the desire for whatever sinful practice that had a hold of them, whether it be pornography, alcoholism, sexual immorality, smoking, drugs. Yet others have to daily fight not to give into that one drink, that one glimpse at those magazines. My friend's dad suggested that the ones who are delivered instantly isn't because they are stronger, or got a better experience, but possibly because God knew they could not handle struggling with the daily temptation & desire for what used to hold them captive, and that the ones who are not delivered instantly from the old desires are the ones that God knows can handle it, and that it will make them stronger.

Another friend of mine more recently made similar comments, so my brain is spinning thinking about it.

You can take it out of the sinful realm and into the physical realm. Some people have to deal with crippling disease, while others are healed, or never have to go through any physical pain. Parents have to deal raising a child who will never be able to run & play like other kids, and may not live to see high school. Others face horrible accidents, and things too horrible for any person to go through.

Could there be something to this idea? That God lets those suffer from strong temptations or physical pain who will be able to handle it, and become stronger because of the struggle? Are some of us like the butterfly? They say the butterfly needs the struggle of getting out of the cocoon to emerge a beautiful butterfly, and if someone tries to help that butterfly by snipping away part of the cocoon, the butterfly will emerge crippled, and will not live long. So it isn't a stretch to say that many of us need to go through tough times, or rough times of intense temptations, to emerge a mature Christian.

If this is the case, isn't it a gamble for God? He is all-knowing, but what if the person can't handle the temptation or physical affliction? Some haven't, and have walked away back into the sinful life that they used to live. What if Job had cursed God, instead of trusting Him? Obviously, God knew he would hang in there, and he did.

We don't see the heart, and God does. The same people who become discouraged and walk away possibly were never surrendered, and had no intention of ever giving their all, so God could use their struggles to weed out who will truly be faithful.

The Bible does say He will not give us more than we can bear, and will always make a way of escape, but do we always look for the escape? Do we always want it, or do we sometimes want the forbidden worse than we want the promised escape?

Another reason God could let some of us struggle so much, is to drive us to Him. I will admit I have a natural tendency to just drift along like a stream taking the path of least resistance. Had God wiped out my struggles completely, and answered my desperate prayers, I very likely would have "rested on my laurels", coasted along, and been easy prey for the devil. Anyone who has a daily. or almost daily, temptation or affliction, cannot sit back and relax. That person has to rely on and go running to God more than the Christian who never had anything major to deal with. All too many of us would be happy to stay in that cocoon, and be an ugly old worm, but the struggle pushes us forward, seeking more of God, desperate for more of Him, knowing only closeness to Him can pull us through.

I know all Christians are tempted, and Satan fights all of us. I don't mean to trivialize anyone's Christian walk, but it is a fact that many of us have harder issues to deal with, and Satan knows where our weakness lies.

My post may be rambling and not make sense, but it has stretched my mind, which is good. I welcome comments, and speaking of comments, I used to get an email with new comments, asking me to publish or ignore the comment, but I haven't been getting emails for the last few comments I have received - anyone have any ideas how to fix that?


Kim M. said...

Great thoughts!


I think that God does allow struggling to draw us closer to Him.
I also think that the ones who fail in serving God through struggles would fail to serve Him in the easy times.
It is a heart issue. They may "appear" to be serving God on the outside during ease and comfort, but if they turn their back on God during hard times, then perhaps it was only a revealing of their heart?

Regarding getting comments in your email:
Check your spam inbox.... maybe you have it set to block them from blogger. I have had this happen more than once and had to go back in and fix my settings.

Mark said...

Thanks, will check out the spam thing