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Welcome to the CMWF Blog! We hope you'll find some encouragement and comfort here through stories of military life and truth from God's Word.


Butterly Patience
Butterly Patience


by MaryLee Heller


When I was in elementary school my dad was still serving in the US Navy. We were stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which was still a hub for fleet training.

One of the more powerful memories that came out of GTMO was a day when I quietly wandered off, at school recess. I've always loved nature and there was plenty of wonder to be found there. On this day I found a butterfly's cocoon that was clear and I could see the butterfly moving inside. It was hatching. I couldn't tear myself away. Soon, friends found me. Most wandered off, bored. A very few stayed.

When recess ended, the teacher found us. In an elegance that I would not understand until much later, we were allowed to remain outside and finish watching the emergence. “But,” she warned, “do not touch or try to help it. It must struggle to become strong enough to live.” The butterfly fought, struggled, and wriggled. Soon it stood, allowing its wings to dry, to open, to expand, to strengthen. It went from a simple, dark, fuzzy creature with hints of wing structure, to a regal monarch butterfly. All too suddenly it flew off.

It seems to me that we all have times in life where people around us are like butterflies fighting their way out of cocoons. My grown sons went through it between the ages of 16 and 18 before they suddenly needed to fly away. My husband is retiring from the Navy now. Pregnant friends wait for babies. Sick friends wait for health. Embattled marriages and other relationships often have one in struggle and another waiting and watching. 

We cannot help them as they struggle to exit their confines. We cannot hurry them as they dry and strengthen their wings. We must do something equally hard: we must be patient.

In the King James Version of the Bible, patience is often translated as "long-suffering." It doesn't say "short inconvenience" or "brief interruption of frustration." It is suffering alongside someone as they struggle or as they perch in a wait. It is witnessing their change, in true awe. It is knowing that we are doing nothing, but much is happening that is beyond our control. Something is happening, even though we are frustrated at our own lack of influence or activity. There is really nothing that we can do to help the butterflies in our life—except watch and wait and celebrate when they begin to soar into life again.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant," says 1 Corinthians 13:4. It seems to me that it's not about whether or not we have times of wait—all love has times of wait, according to this verse. It seems to me that it's more about how we wait.

 

Prayer for the wait: 

Father God, please help me to endure the suffering alongside this person who I care so deeply for. Please help me to trust you and what you are doing as I just witness, in faith, what you will do to work this for the good of us who love you. And, help me, please, to wait in the spirit of kindness. Thank you. Amen.

 



MaryLee is a grown Navy "brat," veteran of the US Navy, and wife to a recent Navy retiree. She home educates two of the four children she shares with her husband of more than twenty years while authoring novels and serving as Director of Christian Military Wives Fellowship. In her copious amounts of free time she pursues her creative, Bible study, and Bible teaching passions.




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Avatar  Starla J 4 years ago

Great reminder and analogy. Thank you1