Part 2 -Overcoming Adversity With God
Tip #7 for Mission Operatives: See the Blessing in the Battle
Maybe you don’t like the idea that you can be experiencing adversity and it is God’s will for you to be right where you’re at.
But consider the classic story: A man found a 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 it could go no farther.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly 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 was never 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 what we could have been - and we could never fly. God is always at work in our lives.
Let’s close with this often-shared fictitious exchange from an unknown author…
I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons:
I began my career as a private, because of the intensity of the battle You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. there are many soldiers and recruits under my charge.
I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private. I realize that You have promised to supply all I would need for the battle.
But Sir, I must present You with a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and blood of those I have tried to assist. The soles of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked trying to enlist and encourage the instructed troops.
My weapons are marred, tarnished, and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.
You have promised You would be with me throughout, but when the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged. I have Battle Fatigue. I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines.
Just get me out of the battle--please, Sir.
Your Faithful, but tired, Warrior.
To: Faithful Soldier, Spiritual Armed Forces
Location: The Battlefield SUBJECT: Transfer
Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons: You are needed in this battle. I have selected you, and I will keep My Word to supply your need. You do not need a demotion and transfer.
You need a period of "R&R" –Rest and Renewal. I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and "make all things new."
You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in the battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength. I will instill in you confidence and ability. My Words will rekindle within you and renewed love, zeal, and enthusiasm.
Report to Me tattered and empty. I will refill you.
Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ
Enjoy this sweet reminder that our God is fully aware of where you are today.
Look up Isaiah 41:10
He has gifted you and equipped you for the mission that He has called you to. He offers you full armor for the battle and He knows what you need, every step of the way. You can trust Him.