STRUGGLE 5'?m1f Monologue: Why God allows trials

(enters excited)

Boy! When the Lord answers prayer, He answers IN SPADES!

(examines eyes of audience)

Oh, it just occurred to me that you have no idea what I'm
talking about. A few weeks ago, I had one of those days when
just EVERYTHING goes wrong. I won't bother you with my tales of
woe. Suffice it to say I was miserable! I was so involved in my
circumstances that I forgot to pray until I was deep, deep, deep
in depression. By then, all I could do was moan, (moans) "Why,
Lord, why are you letting all these things happen to me?!"

Well, I must admit that at the time, it seemed like less of a
prayer and more of a complaint. I didn't really expect an
answer. I figured that since I waited so long to pray, the Lord
might not be listening to me at all,

Well, anyway, as soon as I got the feeling that my prayers were
bouncing off the ceiling, I got off my knees and went to the
window to look out and see if there were any other people out
there as miserable as I was.

That's when I noticed this cocoon in the corner of the window.
(examines eyes of audience) You know, a cocoon. (examines eyes
of audience) I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "This
girl has lost it. She started out talking about being depressed
and now she's off on some tangent about cocoons." But stick with
me for a minute. This cocoon taught me a lesson about life's
struggles. Let me explain.

You see, up until that time, I had seen lots and lots of
cocoons, but I never saw the caterpillar going in and I never
saw the butterfly coming out. I never even saw a cocoon that
I suspected might have anything in it. But this day I noticed
the cocoon was moving. It was wiggling, you know, like there was
actually a caterpillar or butterfly inside. So, being resigned
to the idea that nothing else good was going to happen to me
that day, I decided to watch the cocoon for a while to see if
something might happen.

Sure enough, almost an hour after the wiggling started, I saw a
small hole open up at the bottom of the cocoon and the butterfly
began to back out of it. And, being quite inventive in my
spirituality, I decided that this emergence might be some kind
of symbolic answer to my prayer. You know, new beginnings and
all that sentimental stuff? So, I said, (looks up,
half-heartedly) "Thanks, Lord, for new beginnings. It's not a
new job. It's not a new car. It's not an apology for being
wronged. But it's a nice sentiment. Kind of."

Well, by now I was quite captivated by the cocoon, so I kept
watching. But... well progress was slow. After a full hour of
struggling, the butterfly only managed to free part of its
abdomen from the cocoon. He looked tired. And he wasn't
struggling with the same intensity as when he started. "Poor
fella, I know how you feel. I feel like giving up too."

After another hour only half of the butterflies abdomen was free
from the cocoon. I thought sure that the poor guy was in
trouble. I thought the poor guy could die. So, I went into my
bathroom and brought out my little cuticle scissors and began to
carefully cut away the cocoon from around the butterfly's body.
Within five minutes I had completely rescued the butterfly from
what I thought was shear torture. He was free!

(sigh) But that was far from the end for my little friend. For
a short time he dangled from the cocoon, while his wings dried
out. But, even after his wings dried out, he never took flight!
Never! He died just a few days later. So, I said, (looks up)
"Lord, what kind of an answer to prayer is that?" (pause) But
then I thought about it again. (looks up) "Sorry, Lord, I guess
that wasn't an answer to prayer at all. Just my imagination
working overtime again."

Then, this morning, while I answered my emails, that butterfly
came to mind again. I logged onto the internet and did a search
for web sites pertaining to butterflies. There was more
information on butterflies than I ever wanted to know! Butterfly
anatomy, butterfly ecology, butterfly diet, butterfly
physiology, butterfly reproduction, you name it. After wading
through pages and pages of information I found what I was
looking for. But it wasn't what I expected. It looks like the
butterfly was an answer to my prayer afterall.

It turns out that the butterfly needs the struggle inside the
cocoon to stimulate blood circulation in its wings. He needs
struggles to make him strong. By helping that butterfly when he
didn't need help, I short-circuited his development.

Wow! That butterfly is me! Thankfully, the Lord can see beyond
my suffering. By letting me struggle, the Lord lets me grow

(looks up) "Thanks, Lord."
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