Tuesday, April 4, 2017

From Darkness to Light - Cocoon to Flight

There's just something about getting out in the fresh air and sunshine that revives you. Health-wise I know the sun causes our bodies to make vitamin D, which is essential and not found naturally in very many foods. Pure old sunshine also helps in the fight depression. As the spring weather has sprung, I'm trying to get myself and my son out the door a bit more to benefit from the natural elements.

One of the things I liked about this apartment when I found it nearly 6 years ago was the nice park behind it. There is a very nicely maintained paved walkway and a Frisbee golf course. For the little ones, there's a water pad on the end away from where we live. From my door, to through the park and back is just over one mile, so it makes a nice little walk.

Yesterday on our walk through the park, I saw the beauty of spring. There were several different types of butterflies, and colorful flowers scattered throughout the park. I'm not sure what it is exactly that seeing butterflies and flowers makes better, but at least it makes me smile a bit. Maybe the freshness of spring is just - refreshing. There's the promise of new life and maybe a little bit of hope associated with it.

But as we enjoy the beauty of a new butterfly or a freshly grown wildflower, we don't even see the struggle it took to produce them. The butterfly struggled to break out of the cocoon; and the flower fought through layers of dark soil to emerge into the sunlight. We just see the beauty and forget about the struggle. Somehow we miss the part about the frail little stem that fought through dirt and grit, withstood harsh conditions and fought to produce the little flower that makes us smile. Neither we nor the butterfly remembers the struggle of fighting off the binding of the cocoon to be able to spread wings. Gently they unfolded and as they dried they soon gave way to flight.


Our trouble may very well be that we not only remember the struggles, but are still fighting through them every single day. People say you're so inspiring. I'm like - no I'm surviving. Maybe they see the fruit of the struggle, and yes there is fruit. They see the flower - the love we have for our caregivee, the dedication to the journey, and the sheer tenacity it takes to keep going. What they don't see or understand is the time in the cocoon, or the time underground. But we remember well. That's partly because we are still living it day after day.

All I can hope for at the end of the day is that people see the flower or the butterfly rather than the struggle. These things were on my mind this morning as I read Romans 8. We know verse 28, and at times hate to hear that all things work together for good... I've heard myself think, yeah, I know. But knowing that somehow He can turn all the pain, suffering, and struggles into something good, doesn't help working through the process any easier.

I think we've heard that verse out of context for a long time now. It's our go-to verse for everything we don't understand. But the verses just before it we often ignore.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.
For we don't even know what we should pray for,
nor how we should pray.
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings
that cannot be expressed in words.
And the Father who knows all hearts
knows what the Spirit is saying
for the Spirit pleads for us believers
in harmony with God's own will.

We just seem to bypass these two verses since we don't understand them and grab the one that is supposed to make everything better. We miss that He helps us in our distress. That part of caregiving that is similar to struggling to get out of a cocoon. He understands us when we don't even know what we should pray or how to pray, just like the butterfly was waiting for its wings to dry before it takes flight. And then there's this phrase that stuck out to me - He knows our hearts.

Today, I'm going to rest in the fact that He knows my heart. I'm going to turn my thoughts to how He can see the most hidden parts of my soul - and think about how I'm actually okay with that. I want Him to see me, to know me. My meditation will be on how while He's making all this work out for good somehow - Holy Spirit is behind the scenes praying for me to make it, carrying me across the finish line, helping me emerge from the darkness into flight. Yeah, He's got this. He's got me. He's got you. And with that thought - I'll trust Him for one more day - will you join me?




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