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A naturalist walking through the woods one day found a cocoon clinging to a twig. He wanted to watch the caterpillar develop into a butterfly, so he broke off the twig, took the cocoon home and placed it under a glass.
After two or three days, he observed movements within the shell sufficient to break it slightly. The movements increased until a small crevice was made and as the shell opened day after day, he discovered that wings were beginning to develop. Then the struggles of the little creature became more and more violent and as it continued its efforts to be free, it seemed at times to be in convulsions of pain. So, the sympathetic naturalist tried to help the struggling little prisoner escape by cutting away the shell. The butterfly crawled out, but it never flew. In relieving its struggles, the naturalist had stopped its development.
There is a parable in this which teaches us the significance of life's conflicts and struggles. We sometimes complain of these things when really they are the making of us. If we had no trials or hardships, if we lived always at ease and in comfort, we would never develop into strong men and women and we would never know the meaning of a vigorous and victorious life.
We should strive to learn to pray wholeheartedly - O God, help us to look upon the hardships of life, not as obstacles, but as opportunities for developing strength and character for a full and complete life. Amen