I was sitting in my garden the other day witnessing an amazing sight. Dozens of beautiful butterflies were flitting gracefully from one flower to another, and then another and another. Their wings were an endless spectrum of awe-inspiring colors, ranging from subdued blacks and browns to brilliant shades of orange, blue and indigo. And yet it wasn’t the spectacular beauty or the never ceasing activity of the butterflies that had grabbed my attention. It was the struggles of one single butterfly, clearly different from the others, that held me spellbound.
This butterfly was doomed, I thought, to endure a totally insignificant and unfulfilled life. He had once been as beautiful and graceful as the others...you could still see the ornate design on his wings and the electric blue color that seemed, even now, to shimmer in faded rays of the setting sun. But, unlike the other butterflies who floated so lightly from flower to flower, this outcast clung tightly to the flower he was visiting. It seemed he had no choice because, evidently, a bird, or some other ill-intentioned malefactor had ripped away a huge part of the butterfly’s right wing. As I studied the actions of this miserable creature I felt certain that at any moment the butterfly would lose all hope, and with it, all strength and simply slip from the flower, fall to the ground and unceremoniously be eaten by the first predator to happen along.
But, to my amazement, the opposite was the reality I watched unfold. The wounded butterfly began to rapidly move what was left of his tattered wings until, unsteadily, he lifted his body off the flower and made a quick but successful hobble-flight to the next flower where he landed and again clung tightly, looking like he would fall at any moment. He stayed only a moment and then began his unsteady hobble-flight to the next flower. I was amazed. Here was a life whose purpose seemed to have been ended by the attack of a hungry bird. The butterfly was no longer beautiful and what good, I wondered, was a butterfly that had lost his beauty? But then I realized, as the butterfly hobble-jerked beyond my sight, that beauty never had been his purpose in life. His purpose was to help pollinate the flowers.., and this he was still determined to do. Even though life had dealt a difficult blow, this noble butterfly would not cease accomplishing what God had created him to do.
And now all I can do is cry out humbly, “Oh God, let me be so noble. Let me look beyond the difficulties of my life, beyond the things that have left me with a ‘broken wing’ and let me give glory to You as I continue, no matter what, to fulfill YOUR purpose in my life. Lord, when my time on earth is finally ended I want the world to know it was Your mercy that continued to get me flower to flower in Your garden of life.”
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