Our lawn is green!
Ordinarily that would be a good thing, right? It’s just that it’s only February, and my ever-lawn-mowin’ husband was hoping for at least a couple of months of non-growth before the long season of green begins again. There may still be a bit of winter yet to come – but for now the grass doesn’t seem to know it’s only February, and it’s growing anyway!
Having gone such a long time without hard, soaking rains, the drought-parched earth quite literally came alive with just the small amount of rain that fell in recent weeks. That, along with a string of sunny days and it’s looking more and more like spring has sprung! I can imagine all those tiny grass seeds and flower buds just straining to finally get to do what they were designed to do, and grow. It looks so easy…so effortless.
That must mean growth….change…. is easy for us too, then….right?
Several years ago I watched a video of a butterfly emerging from its cocoon where it had quietly and safely been growing and changing for many weeks. This video forever changed my perception of change. It was a close up and personal, front row seat to the most amazing, dramatic struggle of birth I’d ever seen. What had once been the nursery for the caterpillar now posed not only danger but certain death for the butterfly if it didn’t get out of there. But in order to leave the cocoon behind and be free, that baby butterfly had to push and strain and flail against the sides of the cocoon over and over again before it finally made a tiny opening. It would pause just a moment to rest, then start the work all over again. It was exhausting to watch and I found myself cheering the little thing on in its epic battle for emergence. At this point it was all or nothing – no turning back. As it made its final push for freedom, using its last bit of remaining strength, I watched as at last it fluttered clumsily and was finally free! (I think I actually cheered out loud!) I don’t ever see a beautiful butterfly floating past without thinking of how hard it had to work to transform – to become what it was meant to be…..
Sometimes growth doesn’t seem to take much effort at all. We enjoy long, comfortable stretches of good health, security and abundance and we are quick to thank God for our blessings. We are gently fed with the soft rains and sunny days of life and those seasons are indeed gifts!
But equal to those seasons, though it never seems like it at the time, are the gifts of growth that do NOT come easy. They aren’t graceful or safe, but come with great strain, tremendous effort and even pain as we struggle to emerge from the darkness into light and freedom. It’s in these times that our faith is tried, our strength is tested and we need God’s help and guidance more than ever. These are the times we desperately need to know we aren’t alone, and if we just keep going….we will see for ourselves the miracle of the best kind of growth – the kind that comes from suffering. I don’t understand it, nor can I begin to explain it, but I know it to be true.
To be honest, my heart is longing for a good, long stretch of easy growth right now. And God knows that….but he also knows that more than anything….
…..I want to learn to fly.
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
*Track above: Love is War – Hillside United
“…Turn my eyes to see Your face as all my fears surrender
Hold my heart within this grace, where burden turns to wonder…
I will fight to follow – I will fight for love
Throw my life forever to the triumph of the Son…”