Struggling Into New Life
by Gabe Bernal
“And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26, ESV)
As part of the hour-long exercise we are allowed in England during our lockdown, I was walking around my neighborhood when I saw a cocoon on a tree. I had to stop and take a closer look. This isn’t something I see very often, especially since I live in such an urbanized area. But there it was nestled on a branch next to the trail.
I’ve always been fascinated by the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths. The complete change from one state of being to another. In addition, they go into self-imposed isolation as caterpillars spin silk to cast themselves inside the cocoon to later hatch and enter their new life as a butterfly or moth.
But this is not just a hibernation that occurs in the cocoon. Caterpillars don’t enter the cocoon and magically come out as a butterfly in the spring. There is a struggle, and in that struggle comes transformation. Because of that transformation, they exit the cocoon as something else; they experience a rebirth. They receive a new identity and a new purpose.
It makes me think about this isolation that I (and everyone else) have been forced to endure over the last year. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had days where it’s been a struggle. Days I felt like I couldn’t see an end to this quarantine. But I trusted His plan, I trusted His will, I leaned on Him more than ever.
Instead of embracing frustration, heartache, and longing because I have had to stay inside 23 hours a day, I have embraced God, and He has used this time to grow in me gratitude, empathy, and love for the people I have come here to serve. He reminded me of Romans 8:28 that all things work together for his good. And although I have had struggles, and thought it seems like I have to battle every day for only a little bit of contentment, He promises that fight will not be in vain.
Like caterpillars don’t exit the cocoon the same. I won’t come out the same on the other side of this. God has and will continue to use this pandemic (and many other struggles) to forge and mold my will to His.
When quarantine ends and the restrictions lift, I will come out feeling like I have a new life and a renewed desire to do the work He has called me to do.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1, ESV)
- What struggles have you experienced over the covid restrictions?
- What have you learned about your calling from these struggles?
- How are you going to move forward despite these struggles?