“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21).
Can a caterpillar fly? If you said, “No,” you would be partially correct. Actually, a caterpillar can fly, but it must have a transformation first.
The butterfly begins life as a caterpillar, a worm like larva that spins a cocoon for itself. For weeks, the larva remains hidden within the cocoon as it undergoes metamorphosis. When it’s time for the butterfly to emerge, it must struggle and fight its way out of the cocoon. We might be tempted to help this process by tearing open the cocoon – but that’s the worst thing we could do. The struggle makes it strong and enables it to fly. Butterflies need adversity to become what God intended them to be. So do we.
The Book of Job is the story of a wealthy and successful community leader named Job. He was a successful and righteous businessman with huge holdings of livestock and real estate. One day Satan came before God and asked him, “Where have you come from?” Satan replied, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
God said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Notice that God pointed Job out to Satan! God gave Satan permission to put Job through a trial of adversity. Job’s herds were stolen, his servants were murdered, and all of Job’s children were killed by a sudden tornado.
Through his trial of adversity, he grows in strength, wisdom and faith. His entire perspective on God is transformed by his suffering. He was even accused of sin by his closest friends.
We must get beyond the immature notion that God is interested only in making us healthy, wealthy and happy. More than anything, He wants us to be like Christ. And the road to becoming like Christ often leads through the wilderness of adversity.
In order for the butterfly to fly, there must be a transformation process that is often developed through adversity.